Monday, November 29

Redonda: the Caribbean island populated by rats and goats that was transformed into a valuable ecological paradise


  • Gemma Handy
  • St John’s, Antigua

Bird on the island

Image source, Shanna Challenger

Caption,

Redonda is the third and least known of the Antigua and Barbuda islands.

There are no spas, no beaches, no services, and their contribution to GDP is practically nil. However, Redonda, a rocky Caribbean island of rock just a mile long, is estimated to be one of the most valuable sites in the region.

With virtually no human contact for centuries, the lesser-known island of Antigua and Barbuda has long been a key nesting site for migratory birds around the world and a home for wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

When environmentalists first began to entertain the idea of ​​eliminating thousands of invasive black rats and a herd of wild goats, it seemed, at best, an ambitious plan.

Five years later, what was once desert land is today a fertile ecological paradise, teeming with new vegetation, while populations of birds and lizards have thrived.


www.bbc.com

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