E E unit Bulletin Jan - Feb 2011


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E E unit Bulletin Jan - Feb 2011

  1. 1. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY J AN/F EB 2011 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? Clean Bill of Health or Not !!! A visiting veterinarian by the name of Susanne Clubb from the United States provided quite a treat and an opportunity for learning by examining all the parrots at the Union Mini Zoo. That’s 5 Ama- zona versicolor (St. Lucian Parrot) and 2 Macaws (Ara ararauna). The birds were none too pleased about being han- dled by so many human hands or about being poked, prodded or pricked. They made this known Forestry staff assisting in subduing by throwing quite a raucous and not surrendering the Macaw parrot for examination gracefully.Vet verifying the gender of Upon examination, the following was discovered:the Amazona versicolor (St. Lucian Parrot) ♦ Coco turned out to be a girl and Lucy? Well we had it right in that case. ♦ The other three St. Lucian Parrots brought in after hurricane Tomas from Micoud, Mil- let and Anse La Raye all turned out to be males. Canice, Nerius and York as they are now called were also found to be underweight. ♦ Canice which was found in the Millet range is apparently suffering from serious liver damage. Canice, Coco (the parrot next to Lucy) and Rumpel (one of the macaws) have E. coli which is a natural bacteria found in the gut of most warm blooded animals but apparently at elevated levels. ♦ Both macaws also turned out to be male although it was thought that one was a female. With the Amazona parrots and the macaws it’s not easy to tell their gender just by looking at them, that is why Dr. Clubb had to use her endoscope to view the testes or ovaries to make that determination. ♦ Blood samples of all the birds were taken for further testing.Blood being extracted fromthe Amazona versicolor (St. ♦ A micro- chip was also placed in all the birds for further identification. Lucian Parrot) The vet recommended that the animals diet be supplemented with more proteins and that they be fed with what they naturally eat. Thanks is extended to ACTP who was responsible for Dr. Clubb’s visit here to examine our birds. Isn’t collaboration a wonderful thing?! Phone: 468-5648/5E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force eeunit@gmail.com
  2. 2. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY J AN/F EB 2011 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? What’s the Status of Lansan (Protium attenuatum ) in St. Lucia ? € € Lansan (Protium attenuatum) is a fairly common plant in our rain forest and has been used by our people for decades. In Catholic churches it is used ceremonially € during funerals and mass. It is burnt in homes to ward off not only mosquitoes but also evil spirits. I know folks who mix it with local coconut oil or turpentine and use € this mixture to relieve their arthritic pain. € € Lansan (incense) is a Lesser Antillean endemic currently listed by IUCN Dried lansan resin € on tree trunk € (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Data Deficient. The species € has reportedly been depleted across most of its restricted range in the Lesser An- € tilles Windward Islands. Recent surveys indicate that Saint Lucia currently holds € the largest remaining population. . € There is a lansan project going on which began in August of 2010 coordinated by Adams Toussaint. Its express objective is to introduce a sustainable management system to conserve Saint Lucia’s globally important population of Protium attenua- tum in situ while providing sustainable income to local people. Unregulated extraction of resin is occurring where indiscriminate slashing of the Leaves and fruits of the lansan plant bark is done causing severe damage and in some cases even death of the lansan trees. Without intervention, this exploitation could seriously damage the population of Lansan in what may be its last stronghold. The first phase of the project is to conduct a comparative study of differing harvest- ing regimes on the growth and crown health of Lansan trees and resin quality and volume, to identify the best sustainable method of extraction. It is hoped that resin tappers could be licensed either as individuals or communal groups to harvest trees using approved methods within agreed areas in the Forest Forest officers Reserve. This would help maintain the sustainability of this industry and the pro- assessing lansan plants tection and survival of lansan. Phone: 468-5648/5E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force eeunit@gmail.com
  3. 3. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY J AN/F EB 2011 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? IS JACQUOT OK AFTER TOMAS? The St. Lucia national bird Amazona versicolor affectionately called “Jacquot” is such an important part of our culture it is even featured in our coat of arms which helps identify us as a nation. Hurricane Tomas has wreaked havoc on our forest eco-system and our parrot has notescaped unscathed. The Forestry Department has seen it fitting to carry out a new parrot survey to properly as-sess the situation. ACTP (Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots ) was kind enough to providefunding for this activity.The last survey carried out in 2009 estimated the parrot population to be between 2000 to 2500 individuals. Thedata from this new survey which took three weeks has not yet been analyzed but from observations the followingcan be deduced:♦ That many nesting sites were affected since many older trees which usually serve as nesting sites were lost during hurricane Tomas.♦ The natural food sources within the forest has been depleted due to loss of trees, flowers and fruit caused by Tomas’ heavy winds.♦ Disruption in parrot population distribution as they now seek out new areas for food and nesting sites. For ex- ample more parrots are now being observed in the Des Cartiers rain forest.One of the challenges while carrying out the survey was that of maneuvering through landslides and difficult ter-rain. Organizing and analyzing the data is also seen as another challenge.We’re hoping that this new survey will provide a picture of what truly obtains and that appropriate actions can betaken to assist our national bird to recover from the shock caused by Tomas. Thankfully no dead parrots werefound or reported.A public awareness campaign is soon to be developed and it is hoped that a phenological study can be carriedout in order to determine the season of greater food availability and the factors affecting foodavailability, not only for our parrot but other wildlife as well.It has been a long hard road to bring the parrot population from near extinction to its currentstatus. We must continue to protect them and help secure their future. It is our duty, our Jacquot. Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force eeunit@gmail.com