Tiny Caribbean Island Granted Protected Space Standing

By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, October 1, 2023 @ 07:30 AM (EST)
Supply: CNN

The Caribbean island of Redonda has been officially designated a protected space by the federal government of Antigua and Barbuda. The Redonda Ecosystem Reserve covers nearly 75,000 acres, together with the island, its surrounding seagrass meadows, and a 70-square-mile coral reef. Whereas the brand new protected space is essentially unexplored, it’s believed to be dwelling to not less than 30 globally threatened and near-threatened species, in addition to globally essential seabird colonies. The sheer measurement of the protected space means the nation has already met its “30×30” goal—a world purpose to guard 30% of the planet for nature by 2030.

The brand new designation is the results of the continued efforts of the federal government of Antigua and Barbuda, and native and worldwide conservation NGOs, together with the Environmental Consciousness Group (EAG), Fauna & Flora and Re:wild. These efforts have reworked Redonda from a barren moonscape to a lush wildlife sanctuary in just some years. The undertaking to rework the island, which was launched in 2016, concerned eradicating invasive black rats that preyed on reptiles and ate birds’ eggs, and relocating the goats launched by early colonists that devastated the vegetation.

Following the removing of the invasive rats and feral goats in 2017, Redonda has seen a spectacular restoration, with hundreds of native bushes taking root and anchoring the soil, seabirds returning to nest in better numbers, and lots of native animal and plant populations rising exponentially. Complete vegetation biomass has elevated by greater than 2,000%, 15 species of land birds have returned, and numbers of the endemic lizards have elevated by greater than fourfold.

“Thus far, the restoration of this treasured panorama has been really outstanding,” mentioned Johnella Bradshaw, EAG’s Redonda programme coordinator. “A lot laborious work and dedication, from so many individuals, has gone into making the institution of the Redonda Ecosystem Reserve attainable—this designation will guarantee we will proceed rewilding the island to the gorgeous, biodiverse surroundings it as soon as was.”

Learn extra here.