The Frederick Smith Secondary School’s Environmental Club’s Coral Reef Diorama Project
The Biodiversity and Conservation and Management Section of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification continues to support our community in environmental efforts and supported the Fredrick Smith Secondary School’s Environmental Club as they embarked on a project which focused on promoting recycling.
The Frederick Smith Secondary School (FSSS) Environmental Club has been in operation as an extra-curricular activity since 2008. Meetings are held every Tuesday with a current total membership of 31 student and two teachers. The Environmental Club is geared towards the promotion of environmental education and the protection of our natural environment in a more hands-on and fun-filled way.
The FSSS Environmental Club has embarked on several projects mainly focused on promoting the 3 R’s concept of waste management; reduce, re-use and recycle with an added thrust in the area of upcycling.(more…)
Senior Environmental Officer Ms. Kim Downes Agard commenced the workshop by welcoming the the attendees of the workshop, She specially welcomed the Honorable Minister Trevor A. Prescod, J.P., M.P. and the Permanent Secretary Daphne Kellman of the Ministry of environment and National Beautification. She noted that the consultants would present the revised NBSAP and the Biodiversity Management policy.
The Honourable Trevor Prescod, Minister of Environment and National Beautification, gave brief remarks. The Minister highlighted that Barbados is a rich hotspot of biodiversity with high levels of native animals and plants, which makes their conservation one of our government’s highest priorities. He stated that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has provided funds for the Ministry to undertake the process of revising its NBSAP, updating the core policy decisions taken in 2002 to the context in which we currently live, and aligning them with Barbados’ current fiscal and policy environment. Following the Minister’s address, Ms. Kim Downes Agard thanked the Minister for his words which set the tone for the workshop.
The endemic Leaf-toed gecko (Phyllodactylus pulcher) was rediscovered in 2011 after several decades of being assumed extinct. The leaf-toed gecko was assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN in 2017. Subsequent studies have indicated low densities in small areas of limestone cliff habitat on the north and south east coasts of Barbados.
Invasive predatory species have been observed to overlap in range with the gecko. Of most concern are rats and mongooses, although cats and centipedes are also responsible for mortality. In addition, the invasive Hemidactylus mabouia house gecko, may be a competitor and is found in built habitat adjacent to habitat of the endemic gecko.
The primary objective of this project is to address the specific challenge posed by invasive mammalian and other predators to the leaf-toed gecko. The gecko will be protected through predator removal and exclusion fencing. The enclosure site may be used to display what is one of Barbados’ only endemic vertebrate species within a confined but natural setting, for educational, research and possibly ecotourism purposes.