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Tropic news. Volume 6. Issue 6

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 6. Issue 6
Series Title:
Tropic news
Creator:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publisher:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
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English

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Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Full Text


TR OP
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL
RESOURCES


NEWS A
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE


Volume 6 Number 6


The Ethics of Species Protection
There are many ethical and biological reasons for the
protection of all species, including ones that are rare or
have no obvious economic value. The following list
provides the rationale for protection:
--Each species has a right to exist. Every species
represents a unique solution to the problem of survival.
All species are part of the community of living things
and have just as much right to exist as humans do.
--All species are interdependent. Species interact
in complex ways as part of natural communities. The
loss of one species endangers other members of the
community, even humans.
--Humans must live within the same ecological
limitations as other species do. Each species uses the
resources of its environment to survive, and the num-
bers of a species declines when its resources are dam-
aged.
--People must take responsibility for their ac-
tions. In the rush to generate profits and satisfy their
own concerns, people often ignore the effects of their
actions on the environment. The damage not only harms
other species but harms humans as well.
-- People have a responsibility to future genera-
tions. If we degrade our natural resources and cause
species to become extinct, future generations will have
to pay the price in terms of a lower standard of living
and quality of life. We are only borrowing the Earth
from future generations.
-- Resources should not be wasted. Human de-
mands on the environment should be minimized by
using natural resources in the most efficient manner
possible. We should be the caretakers of the Earth.
--A respect for human life and human diversity
is compatible with a respect for biological diver-
sity. An appreciation of the complexity of human culture
and the natural world leads people to respect life in its
diverse forms. Peace among nations will benefit people
and biological diversity at the same time, since violence
within and among human societies is one of the princi-
pal destroyers of biological diversity.
--Nature has spiritual and aesthetic values that
transcend economic value. A loss of biological diver-
sity diminishes the ability of people to experience nature
in an undisturbed setting and to derive inspiration and
aesthetic pleasure from it.
--Biological diversity is needed to determine the
origin of life. This universal question becomes more
difficult to answer as species go extinct and important
clues are.lost. The mystery becomes harder to solve.
Much of the preceding was extracted from "Essen-
tials of Conservation Biology" by Richard B. Primack,
1993. Sinauer Associates, Inc.


Pigeons
The Division's Wildlife staff is conducting a study on
nesting by White-crowned Pigeons (Columba
leucocephala ) on Ruth Cay off St. Croix's south shore.
We are studying nesting seasonality, density, and
success. These frugivorous (fruit eating) pigeons nest in
dense colonies. They prefer to nest in mangroves, possi-
bly for protection from predators. Because of Hugo
damage to the mangroves, the
birds are limited in where they
can nest.
Hugo has caused a decrease
in the populations of both
pigeon species (the other being I
the Scaly-naped or Red-necked
Pigeon, Columba squamosa ).
This study will help us to
determine the current breeding
population and the number of
young White-crowned Pigeons
being fledged. Currently, hunting of these two species in
the Virgin Islands is prohibited
I| Although many pigeons
II have been observed on Ruth
Cay in the past, since the
project started none have
been found on the Cay. This
S is probably due to the pres-
ence of a Peregrine Falcon
that has been seen frequent-
ing the area. This predator
S// ;feeds on birds, including
pigeons. The channel be-
tween Ruth Cay and St.
Croix is a popular hunting
ground for the falcon. The Peregrines will migrate north
in April and we expect White-crowned pigeon nesting to
begin shortly after that.










QUOTE
"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we
will love only what we understand, and we will under-
stand only what we are taught."
Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist


March 1994


~P~P ~~ -r ~ C~e~ q -r ~g q




- .. ~


SReef Protection Moorings
Anchors, anchors, anchors... Our coral reefs are being
slowly destroyed as hundreds of anchors are dropped on
or near them daily. Corals that take hundreds of years
to grow are sawed off in minutes by anchor chains or
crushed and broken by heavy anchors. Probably some of
the hardest hit areas are popular dive sites where dive
and other boats drop anchors regularly.
Hopefully, this will change soon. The Reef Ecology
Foundation, with financial and motivational support
from various Rotary Clubs of St. Thomas, have submit-
ted a permit application for twenty three moorings at
eleven coral reef dive sites. These moorings will be a
"Halas" design where a stainless steel eyebolt is ce-
mented into a hole drilled into hard bottom. A semi taut,
floating line is shackled to the bolt with a buoy and
mooring line at the surface.
These moorings will be available on a first come basis
at no fee. They will be for boats under 40 feet in length
for a maximum stay of no more than three consecutive
hours. The moorings will not be for overnight use. All
maintenance will be performed by the users.
Each time a mooring is used, it means one less
anchor potentially damaging our coral reefs. In the long
run, this will improve reef areas that are currently
being destroyed, increase the fish populations that
depend on these reefs, and improve our visibility and
desirability as a tourist destination if we show that we
care enough to turn this reef destruction around. If we
don't start doing something now, we will continue to lose
this valuable marine resource that protects our shore-
lines, provides food for our tables, maintains our marine
biodiversity, and plays a strong role in our economics
and quality of life here in the Virgin Islands.
Some of the sites initially selected for moorings
include; Cow & Calf, Gt. & Lt. St. James, Carvel Rk.,
Capella Is., Congo Cay, Grass Cay, Thatch Cay, Flat
Cay, and Saba Is.


Trees were saved by printing on recycled paner


Wildlife & Oil Spill Response
A workshop was held on March 23 to 24, 1994 at
Hess Oil on St. Croix to cover contingency planning,
response strategies, and rehabilitating wildlife affected
by oil spills. The workshop was conducted by Tri-State
Bird Rescue and Research from Delaware.
The purpose of the workshop was to educate local
and federal government officials, veterinarians, animal
shelter personnel, and other interested persons on how
to effectively and efficiently respond to an oil spill.
Topics included, how to prevent animals from becoming
oiled, how to capture, handle, and clean them, and
human and wildlife health and safety concerns. A
demonstration on cleaning an oiled bird was given.
Flamingo Update
In response to our Flamingo article in the December
issue, Mr. John Barnes, Director of Bermuda's Dept. of
Agriculture, Fisheries & Parks writes, "The Caribbean
flamingo has been recorded regularly from Bermuda and there
is some evidence that they were once fairly common here. In
recent years, there have been a number of vagrants. That
notwithstanding, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo
(BAMZ) has been maintaining Caribbean flamingos for display
purposes since the 1950's. This captive population originated
in Cuba. The first successful breeding at BAMZ occurred in
1967. Since then, the BAMZ population has grown almost
annually and birds have been made available to other institu-
tions. At present, the BAMZ population is 49. On 3/6/92, a
shipment of 20 flamingos was taken to Guana Is., BVI. Sixteen
of these were then moved to Anegada where they were re-
leased on 3/7/92. Of these, one male died and one other bird
became separated from the main flock and was moved back to
Guana Is. later in the year. On 6/17/92 four more birds were
delivered to Guana Is. (making 9) and four birds to Anegada
(making 18). All the birds which originated in Bermuda are
identified by a bright yellow leg band together with a metal
BAMZ band."


This newsletter was funded by the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
Fishery Management Council and the
Crovenment of the VT.


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES
****
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
101 Estate Nazareth
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.
PERMIT NO. 35


Address Correction Requested


L--~;kf~~n;rsar~l~araslp~sn~~, ~N*le~


_~-~ ~.. .~.... _~




Full Text

PAGE 1

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE March 1994 Volume 6 Number 6 "' Pigeons The Division's Wildlife staff is conducting a study on nesting by White-crowned Pigeons (Columba leucocephala ) on Ruth Cay off St. Croix's south shore. We are studying nesting seasonality, density, and success. These frugivorous (fruit eating) pigeons nest in dense colonies. They prefer to nest in mangroves, possibly for protection from predators. Because of Hugo damage to the mangroves, the ~ birds are limitcd in ..vhcrcthcy can nest. . Hugo has caused a decrease in the populations of both pigeon species (the other being I the Scaly-naped or Red-necked Pigeon, Columba squa~osa ). This study will help us to determine the current breeding I I population and the number of I I young White-crowned Pigeons being fledged. Currently, hunting of these two species in the Virgin Islands is prohibited II Il Although many pigeons II, ! I~ave been observed on Ruth I Cay in the past, since the Iproject started none have been found on the Cay. This is probably due to the presence of a Peregrine Falcon Ii that has been seen frequenting the area. This predator feeds on birds, including pigeons. The channel bejtween Ruth Cay and St. Croix is a popular hunting ground for the falcon. The Peregrines will migrate north in April and we expect White-crowned pjgeon nesting to begin shortly after that. J ~--The Ethics of Species Protection There are many ethical and biological reasons for the protection of all species, including ones that are rare or have no obvious economic value. The following list provides the rationale for protection:. --Each species has a right to exist. Every species represents a unique solution to the prOl;>lemof survival. All species are part of the community of living things and have just as much right to exist as humans do. --All species are interdependent. Species interact' in complex ways as part of natural communities. The loss of one species endangers other members of the .community, even humans. --Humans must live within the same ecological limitations as other species do. Each species uses the resources of its environment to survive, and the numbers of a species declines when its resources are damaged. --People must take responsibility for their actions. In the rush to generate profits and satisfy their own concerns, people often ignore the effects of their actions on the environment. The damage not only harms other species but harms humans as well. -People have a responsibility to future generations. If we degrade our natural resources and cause species to become extinct, future generations will have to pay the price in terms of a lower standard of living and quality of life. We are only borrowing the Earth from future generations. -Resources should not be wasted. Human demands on the environment should be minimized by using natural resources in the most efficient manner possible. We should be the caretakers of the Earth. --A respect for human life and human diversity is compatible with a respect for biological diversity. An appreciation of the complexity of human culture and the natural world leads people to respect life in its diverse forms. P~ace among nations will benefit people and biological diversity at the same time, since violence within and among human societies is one of the principal destroyers of biological diversity. --Nature has spiritual and aesthetic values that transcend economic value. A loss of biological diversity diminishes the ability of people to experience nature in an undisturbed setting and to derive inspiration and aesthetic pleasure from it. --Biological diversity is needed to determine the origin of life. This universal question becomes more difficult to answer as species go extinct and important clues are.lost. The mystery becomes harder to solve. Much of the preceding was extracted from "Essentials of Conservation Biology" by Richard B. Primack, 1993. Sinauer Associates. Inc. QUOTE "In the end. we will conserve only wh~t we love. we Will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." Baba Dioum. Senegalese Conservationist

PAGE 2

Wildlife & Oil Spill Response A workshop was held on March 23 to 24, 1994 at Hess Oil on St. Croix to cover contingency planning, response strategies, and rehabilitating wildlife affected by oil spills. The workshop was conducted by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research from Delaware. The purpose of the worksho-p was to educate local and federal government officials, veterinarians, animal shelter personnel, and other interested persons on how to effectively and efficiently respond to an oil spill. Topics included, how to prevent animals from becoming oiled, how to capture, handle, and clean them, and human and wildlife health and safety concerns. A demonstration on cleaning an oiled bird was given. Flamingo Update in response to our Flami~go article in the December issue, Mr, John Barnes, Director of Bermuda's Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries & Parks writes, "The Caribbean flamingo has been recorded regularly from Bermuda and there is some evidence that they were once fairly common here. In recent years, there have been a number of vagrants. That notwithstanding, the Bermuda Aquarium, MuSeum, and Zoo (BAMZ) has been maintaining Caribbe~n flamingos for display purposes since the 1950's. This captive population originated in Cuba. The first successful breeding at BAMZ occurred in 1967. Since then, the BAMZ population has grown almost annually and birds have been made available to other institutions. At present, the BAMZ population is 49. On 3/6/92, a shipment of 20 flamingos was taken to Guana Is., BYI. Sixteen of these were then moved to Anegada where they were released on 3/7/92. Of these, one mal~ died and one other bird became separated from the main flock and was moved back to Guana Is. later in the year. On 6/17/92 four more birds were delivered to Guana Is. (making 9) and four birds to An~gada (making 18). All the birds which originated in Bermuda are identified by a bright yellow leg band together with a metal BAMZ band." " Reef Protection Moorings Anchors, anchors, anchors... Our coral reefs are being slowly destroyed as hundreds of anchors are dropped on or near them daily. Corals that take hundreds of years to grow are sawed off in minutes by anchor chains or crushed and broken by heavy anchors. Probably some of the hardest hit areas are popular dive sites where dive and other boats drop anchors regularly. Hopefully, this will change soon. The Reef Ecology Foundation, with financial and motivational support from various Rotary Clubs of St. Thomas, have submitted a permit application for twenty three moorings at eleven coral reef dive sites. These moorings will be a "Halas" design where a stainless steel eyebolt is cemented into a hole drilled into hard bottom. A semi taut, floating line is shackled to the bolt with a buoy and mooring line at the surface. Th~R~ m()()rinp;R will b~ available on a first come basis at no fee. They will be for boats under 40 feet in length for a maximum stay of no more than three consecutive hours. The moorings will not be for overnight use. All maintenance will be performed by the users. Each time a mooring is used, it means one less anchor potentially damaging our coral reefs. In the long run, this will improve reef areas that are currently being destroyed, increase the fish populations that depend on these reefs, and improve our visibility and desirability as a tourist destination if we show that we care enough to turn this reef destruction around. If we don't start doing something now, we will continue to lose this valuable marine resource that protects our shorelines, provides food for our tables, maintains our marine biodiversity, and plays a strong role in our economics and quality of life here in the Virgin Islands. Some of the sites initially selected for moorings include; Cow & Calf, Gt. & Lt. St. James, Carvel Rk., Capella Is., Congo Cay, Grass Cay, Thatch Cay, Flat Cay, and Saba Is. ~9-l&~ ~~~ .~ ,. ~ ;i ,., ~ '" ;:. ~RA~\O This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and W11dlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Counci1 and the Gi:1vernment of the VI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trees were saved by printinE? on recycled paper BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V. PERMIT NO. 35 GOVERNMENT OF mE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF mE UNITED STATES ****** Department of Pianning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife 101 Estate Nazareth St ThomaS, USVI 00802 (809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.) Address Correction Requested