Monday, April 26, 2010

Counting Creatures, Cretaceans, Avians and Arthropods

Here is the second installment of articles in memory of Jim Johnson ( who died tragically on Nevis recently. We are re-publishing a series of his articles over the coming weeks. Each one gives a fascinating insight into the man, his love of Nevis and his infinite knowledge of natural life on this beautiful Caribbean island.

One of the questions that visitors have been asking lately is “How many different creatures are there on Nevis”. To be truthful, nobody really knows a total count or even all the different species and sub-species.

Over thirty Cretaceans (that’s Whales and Dolphins for those non-scientists) are found in the waters around Nevis, but many are only for a month or so in the Fall and then again in the Spring. There are at least four species of sea turtles, three of which nest on our beaches. No one has ever done a complete tabulation of our sea life!

Then there is the avian population (this is birds, not all those people flying planes and relaxing at the airport), which is constantly changing. In surveys done in the 1980’s, only 72 species of birds were found on or around Nevis. With less farming and a wider variety of plants now being found around the hotels, numbers are currently over 149. Many species are now year-round that were previously listed as “accidentals”.

Then we cannot overlook our Arthopods. At least 60 different types of butterflies are seen along the roadsides of Nevis. There are also listed over 389 types of moths, which can be just as lovely! Also brightly coloured beetles, honeybees and those industrious ants!

There are also several types of bats, lizards, frogs and toads. Plus introduced species such as monkeys, mongooses, cats, dogs, goats and donkeys.

Nevis is a good healthy, natural place for just about everything, so why not come and take part!

For more information please see our Definitive Caribbean Guide to Nevis.

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