UK charity buys 10 acres of bio-diverse local land

| 16/09/2019 | 35 Comments
Cayman News Service
Tree frog on the Salina Reserve (Photo by National Trust for the Cayman Islands)

(CNS): The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is buying ten acres of land in East End bordering the Salina Reserve to protect the habitat for birds and other species. This is the first time the UK charity has purchased land in an overseas territory and it will be doing so in partnership with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, which will manage this richly bio-diverse tropical dry forest land. The charity said it made its first OT purchase in Cayman because of the threats to wildlife and absence of effective protection.

The RSPB has an active programme in Britain’s Caribbean overseas territories to save globally-threatened species from extinction and to protect important sites for nature. The charity often works with local branches of the National Trusts in the region, including the Cayman Islands, and sees land purchase as an effective tool until better development control measures are in place and enforced to protect important habitat.

The RSPB said it has initially focused on the Cayman Islands because of its important habitat biodiversity, with several globally threatened species and very high levels of endemic flora and fauna but a low proportion of protected land. The RSPB is already working in partnership with the National Trust, which has an active land acquisition strategy, and local
legislation allows the RSPB to buy land.

This parcel of land adjacent to the Salina Reserve, where some 500 blue iguanas are now living, came on the market at an opportune moment, the Trust stated in a release. The acquisition will help buffer the reserve from increasing development pressure and road construction.

“Ill-considered development, sometimes carried out without legally required approval, destroys Grand Cayman blue iguana habitat and increases contact with non-native predators, such as feral cats, and competitors like the invasive green iguana. Because of the spatial nature of these threats, this new protected area provides a highly effective, much-needed and complementary conservation solution,” the Trust said.

The land is also home to several endemic trees, such as the endangered Ironwood and the national tree, the silver thatch, and unique plants, such as the critically-endangered Grand Cayman false foxglove. The National Conservation Council recently issued an interim directive to protect this flower ahead of a full species conservation plan.

This newly acquired land will be a gateway to a larger land acquisition within the Salina Reserve to further safeguard the island’s unique species, the Trust said, adding that it will incorporate the plot into the existing reserve. With the support of RSPB, National Trust members and the general public, the Trust and RSPB said they hoped that this joint land purchase will be the start of an exciting new chapter for land conservation in the UK’s territories.

This project has been financed by co-funding from the Rainforest Trust and through gifts to the Conservation Action Fund and the SAVES Challenge.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So who is in charge of the National trust thesr days…its been very silent after the AGM…hmmmmm.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice spot for a Mandarin Oriental

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lets celebrate this success – plain and simple. Does it matter who helps fund it? It’s land that is now protected from development. This is critical habitat for the Blues which is sadly decreasing by the day. The Trust was founded by many great and caring Caymanians and Expats too. The Membership and the Council is also made up of both. The common denominator is that they ALL care about the island and want to protect it. End of story.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I tried to sell land directly to the National Trust and they showed no interest. After it started to be developed then all of a sudden it’s a problem.

    Seems rather disengenuius to me.

    Glad however to see this recent purchase as we do need to protect as much natural habitat as possible.

    The environment funds should be used to purchase important lands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Excellent. It’s good that another country cares about the natural Caymanian environment because Aldart and his posse want to turn the place into concrete.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if this charity has done it’s research to see that the CIG couldn’t give a flying Ching Ching about the environment.

    All they would have had to do is read a newspaper or land on island to see what a catastrophic environmental tragedy is happening here.

    Good money poorly spent in Cayman.

    Perhaps the charity wants the Ching Ching in the coal mine, so to speak, to research a beautiful island, full of greedy politicians and developers, who don’t give a crap and how it affected all living things moving into the future.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had the money to buy up land that’s already been cleared so I could restore it to it’s natural state.

  8. Jus Sayin says:

    WHAT ABOUT BUYING BACK OUR SANDY BEACHES ??? Aren’t we more important than the birds?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, dip shit. Once all the animals start disappearing who do you think is next?

      • George Towner says:

        But we will be the last ones, and what is being done to our beaches by the ones who have the $$$$$ is a national disgrace! More beach parking and access should be available for everyone, not just a few.

  9. Anonymous says:

    expats to the rescue again.

    • Nicki says:

      racist m…f…

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman has all the resources to help itself. You have a whole elected CIG who could have purchased the land. Maybe they could cease the pro-port propaganda mill and put some of that dosh to a worthy cause.

      Unfortunately, few of your elected CIG understand that we only get one planet and they are out to destroy as much of the little paradise that once was the Cayman Islands.

      You have nobody to blame but yourselves, least of all the good people and charities that are doing something.

      Shame on you.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile our government is trashing the conservation law because the business class and the wealthy are slightly inconvenienced when their projects are held up for something as insignificant as preserving the natural environment

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again people like Sandra Hill and Kerry Tibbetts are obsessed with scapegoating all of Cayman’s issues on the FCO, expats or cheap labour
    But we Caymanians are our own worst enemies, we set policy, we elect our own, we sit back and let wealthy caymanian families scrape the cream off the top and leave the curdled milk for everyone else to survive on
    We get the treatment we have allowed them to give us

  11. Anonymous says:

    While I am pleased that the Royal Society has invested in saving the Salinas Reserve I wonder what would happen if eventually The Cayman Islands go independent. I am not advocating for that but we never know what is up ahead. Just my musings!

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a thought along similar lines. What would happen if for some reason that charity went belly up?

  12. Anonymous says:

    you mean dart hadnt bought it? finally some else…great!

  13. Anon says:

    Good for them. Can you imagine a Caymanian doing this?.

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot have. Just we didn’t need a press release to keep us donating to the Trust land fund. Idiot.

      • Anon says:

        3.08pm It’s sad that many Caymanians who cannot take valid criticism always respond with insulting language, a sign of poor upbringing. Most of the land acquired by the Trust has come from land donated by expatriates and I’m confident the same can be said for donations to the land fund.Please provide a list of Caymanians who have donated land. If it was not for expatriates we would not have a National Trust.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just for clarity, prior to the answer assumed to be forthcoming, in which category are we placing Mr. Dart for this particular exercise?

          • Anon says:

            9.19pm This man has purchased more land in Cayman than anyone and has donated some of it. Much as I respect a lot of his projects, all of them, including donations have a commercial motive.

        • Anonymous says:

          You prove your claim. Bet you cant.

        • Anonymous says:

          Um, no, because we didn’t want to make a public thing about it in the first place. Or weren’t you paying attention? The point isn’t about how much I and other Caymanians, or anyone, has given, its about how much the Trust has been able to protect. – Go Trust

          • Anon says:

            7.37am Your own Government’s record on the environment says it all.The prevailing sentiment here amongst the many local business owners is “profit comes first”.
            I entirely agree with Go Trust but it would go a lot further with more local support, why leave it to foreigners?.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No suh. Sellin’ out to them damn furriners again! Where is Ezzie when we need him most?


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