Showing posts from February, 2017

Tobago Village Business

There’s a quiet revolution taking place in Tobago tourism. It is not on the busy south-west of the island where big hotels straddle the beaches. But if you follow the winding Northside Road to the village home of a Prime Minister and President of the twin-island republic, you’ll discover the transformation of a fishing village into the quintessential Tobago adventure destination. Castara clings to the forested western slopes of the Main Ridge reserve and looks into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Here indeed is Paradise. Pat Ganase considers Castara. WaveSong at Heavenly Bay, Coast Hanger, Shady Mango, Sea Steps, Dolphin, Hummingbird, Breadfruit Grove, Sunset, Birdsong or Fiddle Tree! Ali Baba's Sea Breeze is tucked up a secret slope overlooking the quiet Castara cove.The names of cottages call to you and sing invitations to this vacation village on the west coast of Tobago facing the Caribbean Sea. Homegrown developments in Castara over the last 25 years have b

Tobago's Main Ridge Forest Reserve: "for the purpose of attracting frequent showers of rain"

Welcome to the third piece in this series highlighting the biodiversity of Tobago’s Main Ridge. This week, Amy Deacon has invited her colleague Aidan Farrell, a Plant Biologist at The University of the West Indies, to take us on a tour of the lush vegetation of the Main Ridge reserve -and why we can’t do without it! This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on Thursday 17th February 2017. A recent botanical survey of Trinidad and Tobago carried out by the National Herbarium, found that the Main Ridge was home to a third of the most biodiverse plots in the country. The survey recorded close to 350 plant species in the area, including 12 endemic plant species. This high diversity is in large part due to Tobago’s geological history; as well as sharing many species with the South American continent, it also supports species typical of the Antilles. Importantly, this diversity has been retained in the Main Ridge as it has been protected from explo

The Fascinating Frogs of Tobago's Main Ridge Reserve

Are you following this series on Tobago's special and unique creatures? This is the second in the series by Amy Deacon, Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine and Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club. This week Amy takes a closer look at some of the more hidden – but no less valuable – biodiversity of Tobago’s Main Ridge: the frogs.    Frogs, toads, newts and salamanders are all amphibians, as they live underwater for at least some of their lives, and on land the rest of the time. Tobago is home to 15 different frog species, many of which are found inside the Main Ridge Reserve. Four of these are not found on Trinidad, and three are found nowhere else in the world. The cartoon-like Tobago Glass Frog. Photo courtesy Renoir Auguste The Tobago Glass Frog is one of the most unusual. This tiny (2cm) frog has a Kermit-like, cartoon appearance as it is bright green with big eyes. However, if you were t

The Magnificent Birdlife of the Main Ridge Reserve

What’s special about Tobago’s terrestrial flora and fauna? Start with the fact that the Main Ridge Reserve is the oldest protected forest in the western hemisphere, and everything gets better! Amy Deacon, Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine and Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club, looks at some of Tobago’s special creatures. Tobago’s Main Ridge Reserve was given legal protection in 1776; a historic act that marked the start of the global environmental movement, and helped ensure that the forest and its biodiversity is still thriving today. Over the coming weeks we will consider some of the highlights of this biodiversity, and what makes Tobago’s flora and fauna so special. In this article, we will consider some of the island’s most iconic bird species. The White-tailed Sabrewing stretches its wings. Photo courtesy Wendell Stephen Jay Reyes Over 220 species of bird can be found on Tobago, 27 of