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Tropic news. Volume 7. Issue 6.

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Title:
Tropic news. Volume 7. 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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Full Text







March 1995


TROPIC NEWS



Volume 7 Number 6


Protecting Our Environment
In the last two issues we discussed the Benner Bay
Pond and the Cas Cay/Mangrove Lagoon Marine Re-
serves and Wildlife Sanctuaries. In this issue we will
cover the St. James Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanc-
tuary.
This area was designated by DPNR and Rules and
Regulations were approved by the Governor. The area
includes all water within a line drawn from the east end
of Cas Cay to the southwest tip of Lt. St. James island,
then along the western shoreline to the north tip of the
island, then to the eastern tip of Gt. St. James island,
then to the east tip of Cabrita Pt., then south and west
along the shoreline of St. Thomas to a point due north of
Coculus Rock, and then south through Coculus Rock
back to the east point of Cas Cay.
Cabrita Pt. N
St Thomas At


Gt. St. James

Cas Cay Lt. St. James
1 Dog Is.
Under the rules and regulations for this area, it is
unlawful to remove any marine or other wildlife. How-
ever, it is legal to catch fish by hook and line or use a
castnet for fry within 50 feet of the shoreline (except for
Cow and Calf rocks) if a permit from DPNR is obtained.
The intent of this designation and all the regulations
is multipurpose. The establishment of areas such as this
will:
Advance the interests and values of the people of the
USVI;
Contribute to commercially viable fishery resources
by protecting a portion of the spawning stock from
exploitation;
Preserve coral reef and seagrass habitats for larval,
juvenile and adult fish and invertebrates; and
Provide marine viewing areas for commercial dive
operators, recreational divers, students of marine life,
and scientific researchers.
This area, when combined with the Cas Cay and the
Mangrove Lagoon Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctu-
ary, provides protection for a diversify of interrelated
habitats. The mangroves and seagrass beds provide
refuge for juvenile fish and invertebrates and the coral
reefs support the adults that migrate out of the nursery
habitats. By protecting contiguous, interrelated habi-
tats, the chances are greater that habitat management
measures will result in a positive benefit to both the
habitats and the fish and wildlife that utilize them and
defend on them for their existence.


The Green (Tree) Iguana
The green iguana (Iguana iguana) is probably the
most distinctive reptile in the V.I. It can reach lengths
of five feet and weigh over 20 pounds.
It is thought that Precolumbian indians extermi-
nated the original ground iguanas by hunting them for
food and
then

the .,
green "
iguana
from South
America to the V.I. to replace
them. However, they may be native
here but no evidence is available to
answer this question.
The iguana is quite common on St.
Thomas but rarer on St. Croix and
St. John. They are usually found
in trees eating flowers,
leaves, and fruit. They
often lie on paved
surfaces to warm Kar Berrand
themselves in the sun,
exposing themselves to the possibility of being run over.
The females lay their eggs in soft soil or sand in
March and April. The babies hatch in June and July.
Juveniles are bright emerald green while the adults are
darker, grey-green with distinct banding. Older iguanas
can be dark grey with silver-grey on the head, limbs,
and dorsal crest.
With the recent drought, many people are having
problems with iguanas eating their ornamental plants.
They are only doing this because they are hungry. As
soon as we receive rain and our trees and other plants
start to flower, this should not be as much of a problem.
The iguana is quite docile and very calm in captivity.
They can bite, but only do so if harassed. It is against
the law in the V.I. to capture or harm an iguana. Re-
member, every animal plays a role in the balance of
nature and if we lose a vital link in the web of life we
might see drastic changes in our environment. Who
knows, The iguana may be responsible for the distribu-
tion of some of our favorite fruit trees here in the V.I. Do
we want to find out by killing all the iguanas? Certainly
not!
Some of this information came from "Reptiles and Amphibians of
the V.I." by William MaClean, 1982.

QUOTE
"The environment is not only more complex than we
think, it's more complex than we can think."


I






Earth Day 1995
This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Earth
Day on April 21. This is the day to remember how
important the earth is to us and to renew our vows to
treat the earth with respect and in a manner to enable it
to continue supporting all life forms.
On St. Thomas this year, the Earth Day celebration
is being held in conjunction with the Department of
Education Social Studies Fair. The Fair will be on
Friday, April 21, from 9:00 to 4:00 at Emancipation
Garden. The Social Studies Fair will focus
on 'Our Island Environment, V.I.
Cultural a Resources, and
Resource Conservation'.
There will be displays of envi-
ronmental n 't a! 1and environmen-
tally sound products and
s e r v i c e s available to Virgin
Islanders
On St. Croix, the UVI Eastern Caribbean Center
and the V.I. Antilitter and Beautification Commission
will be sponsoring the Third Annual Youth Earth Day
Festival. It will be held at Buddhoe Park in
Frederiksted on Friday, April 21. The organizers expect
over 1000 students to participate in the Festival by
interacting with natural resource specialists. There will
be demonstrations, presentations and educational
exhibits.
On St. John, the St. John Community Foundation is
organizing beach cleanup on April 22 at Coral Bay and
on April 23 at Cruz Bay. There is also going to be a
Recycled Art Contest for all ages. For more information
please call the Community Foundation at 779-4793.
We encourage everybody to come out and learn about
taking care of our precious natural environment. By
understanding it, we come to appreciate it and develop a
desire to protect and enhance it. Please come out and
participate.


Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES
*rt****
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
6291 Estate Nazareth 101
St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)


That's A Lot Of Fish!!!
Commercial fishermen in the Virgin Islands are
required to submit monthly reports of their catch. From
these reports, the Division is able to prepare annual
summaries of all fish caught in V.I. waters each year.
The reporting year is from July to June of the next year.
From July 1993 to June 1994, commercial fishermen
in St. Croix caught the following pounds of reef fish:
-a By hook and line 214,904
ca Using nets 64,731
& Using fishpots 226,728
Using spearguns 34,049
a- Using baitfish nets 2,450
They also caught the following pounds of shellfish:
c Lobster by diving 33,324
cs Lobster in pots 5,176
a Conch 35,576
ca Whelk 16
In the offshore fisheries, commercial fishermen
caught the following pounds of pelagic fish:
c' Dolphin/Dorado 17,743
cs Tuna 21,522
a Wahoo 9,790
Recreational fishermen are also interviewed as to
their catches and fill out logbooks which are submitted
to the Division. Next month we will look at how recre-
ational fishermen on St. Croix are doing.


Coming Up Next Month
Eve*ytHi~n youw wca*tev t&- knbow
ahout lamdcrab.
The& weairc d a-re& here,/ aa u
Leatherbcwk arel backCk at Sa*day
Point.


& ,i .

"~rJRPs


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


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


Address Correction Requested


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Ls~---- ----~P~-Ep~-=_C-~ ~- Z --


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Full Text

PAGE 1

S :~"" "\ , ;.".".::,i'f T O," 1 1 Volume 7 Number 6 March 1995 The Green (Tree) Iguana The green iguana a~ana ig:yana) is probably the most distinctive reptile in the V.I. It can reach lengths offive feet and weigh over 20 pounds. It is thought that Precolumbian indians exterminated the original ground iguanas by hunting them for food and then ...~ : ", "... .. ~f,~; -Protecting Our Environment In the last two issues we discussed the Benner Bay Pond and the Cas Cay/Mangrove Lagoon Marine Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries. In this issue we will cover the St. James Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary . This area was designated by DPNR and Rules and Regulations were approved by the Governor. The area includes all water within a line drawn from the east end of Cas Cay to the southwest tip of Lt. St. James island, then along the western shereline to the north tip of the island, then to the eastern tip ofGt. St. James island, then to the east tip ofCabrita Pt., then south and west along the shoreline of St. Thomas to a point due north of Coculus Rock, and then south through Coculus Rock back to the east point of Cas Cay. Cabrita Pt. N .'" St Thomas ~~ " . . I ~ Gt. St. James ~. -' Cas Cay ~= Benrand --..r , the \ green iguana from South~..r , America to the V.I. to replace them. However, they may be native here but no evidence is available to answer this question. The iguana is quite common on St. Thomas but rarer on St. Croix and Sl John. They are usually found in trees eating flowers, leaves, and fruit. They often lie on paved surfaces to warm ~ themselves in the sun, ,. exposing themselves to the possibility of being run over. The females lay their eggs in soft soil or sand in March and April. The babies hatch in June and July. Juveniles are bright emerald green while the adults are darker, grey-green with distinct banding. Older iguanas can be dark grey with silver-grey on the head, limbs, and dorsal crest. With the recent drought, many people are having problems with iguanas eating their ornamental plants. They are only doing this because they are hungry. As soon as we receive rain and our trees and other plants start to flower, this should not be as much of a problem. The iguana is quite docile and very calm in captivity. They can bite, but only do so if harassed. It is against the law in the V.I. to capture or harm an iguana. Remember, every animal plays a role in the balance of nature and if we lose a vital link in the web of life we might see drastic changes in our en:vironment. Who knows, The iguana may be responsible for the distribution of some of our favorite fruit trees here in the V.I. Do we want to find out by killing all the iguanas? Certainly not! Some of this information came from "Reptiles and Amphibians of the V.I." by William MaClean, 1982. QUOTE "The environment is not only more complex than we think, it's more complex than we can think." Lt. St. James -oJ r;. Dog Is. Under the rules and regulations for this area, it is unlawful to remove any marine or other wildlife. However, it is legal to catch fish by hook and line or use a castnet for fry within 50 feet of the shoreline (except for Cow and Calf rocks) if a permit from DPNR is obtained. The intent of this designation and all the regulations is multipurpose. The establishment of areas such as this will: Advance the interests and values of the people of the USVI; Contribute to commercially viable fishery resources by protecting a portion of the spawning stock from exploitation; Preserve coral reef and seagrass habitats for larval, juvenile and adult fish and invertebrates; and Provide marine viewing areas for commercial dive operators, recreational divers, students of marine life, and scientific researchers. This area, when combined with the Cas Cay and the Mangrove Lagoon Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, provides protection for a diversify of interrelated habitats. The mangroves and seagrass beds provide refuge for juvenile fish and invertebrates and the coral reefs support the adults that migrate out of the nursery habitats. By protecting contiguous, interrelated habitats, the chances are greater that habitat management measures will result in a positive benefit to both the habitats and the fish and wildlife that utilize them and depend on them for their existence. ~

PAGE 2

That's A Lot Of Fish!!! Commercial fishermen in the Virgin Islands are required to submit monthly reports of their catch. From these reports, the Division is able to prepare annual summaries of all fish caught in V.I. waters each year. The reporting year is from July to June of the next year. From July 1993 to June 1994, commercial fishermen in St. Croix caught the following pounds of reef fish: ~ By hook and line 214,904 ~ Using nets 64,731 ~Using fish pots 226,728 ~ Using spearguns 34,049 ~ Using baitfish nets 2,450 They also caught the following pounds of shellfish: ~ Lobster by diving 33,324 ~ Lobster in pots 5,176 ~ Conch 35,576 ~ \Vhelk 16 In the offshore fisheries, commercial fishermen caught the following pounds of pelagic fish: ~ Dolphin/Dorado 17,743 ~ Tuna 21,522 ~ Wahoo 9,790 Recreational fishermen are also interviewed as to their catches and fill out logbooks which are submitted to the Division. Next month we will look at how recreational fishermen on St. Croix are doing. Earth Day 1995 This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day on April 21. This is the day to remember how important the earth is to us and to renew our vows to treat the earth with respect and in a manner to enable it to continue supporting all life forms. On St. Thomas this year, the Earth Day celebration is being held in conjunction with the Department of Education Social Studies Fair. The Fair will be on Friday, April 21, from 9:00 to 4:00 at Emancipation Garden. The Social Studies Fair will focus on 'Our Island Environment, V.I. CuI t u r a I Resources, and Res 0 u r c e Conservation'. There will be displays of envir 0 n men t a I and environmentally sound products and s e r v ice s available to Virgin Islanders ~ On St. Croix, the UVI Eastern Caribbean Center and the V.I~ Antilitter and Beautification Commission will be sponsoring the Third Annual Youth Earth Day Festival. It will be held at Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted on Friday, April 21. The organizers expect over 1000 students to participate in the Festival by interacting with natural resource specialists. There will be demonstrations, presentations and educational exhibits. On St. John, the St. John Community Foundation is organizing beach cleanups on April 22 at Coral Bay and on April 23 at Cruz Bay. There is also going to be a Recycled Art Contest for all ages. For more information please call the Community Foundation at 779-4793. We encourage everybody to come out and learn about taking care of our precious natural environment. By understanding it, we come to appreciate it and develop a desire to protect and enhance it. Please come out and participate. Coming Up Next Month t y~~ +'\i" YO1.J./ WCt .tt1t"ed" wk..-\.ow cibov.t ~.+I\dc.I'ia.bi'. The" sea.b-U'i~ a.",-e,.. heret a.g~ Le.c:tt~b~~ a.",-e,.. back" at: Sa.+1.dy Po1Al\t: This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council and the Governmpnt nf th.. VI Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper BULK RATE u.s. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.i PERMIT NO. 35 GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES ****** Deparunent of Planning and NatUral Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife 6291 Estate Nazareth 101 St. Thomas, USVI 00802-1104 (809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.) Address Correction Requested