Endemic species: a rare encounter on Union Island

The Forest Reserve Trail.

The Union Island Environmental Attackers Bird Watching crew had a rare find today while hiking along the eco-trail above Chattam Bay, on the Western uninhabited portion of the Island. The humid forest with its craggy boulders is the only known location of a tiny, blue-spotted gecko, Gonatodes daudini, which is endemic to Union Island. The Attackers were lucky enough to spot the rare creature hidden in a narrow crevice along the trail. They join the ranks of only a few dozen humans to have ever seen daudini.

Gonatodes Daudini

Gonatodes Daudini, photo by Stanton Gomes

Little is known about the tiny gecko, which was just described in 2005 after a discovery by Mark De Silva. With hard work, proper planning, and good luck, Union Island may be able to protect the one-of-kind gecko, and its unique forest- a veritable Gem in the Grenadines. While the lizard and forest may not be major attractions unto themselves, they are key parts in a greater eco-tourism package: from bird-watching in Ashton Lagoon Mangrove, Salt from the Belmont Pond, turtle patrols in Bloody Bay, and forest ecology and endemic species along the once-maintained eco-trail. Union Island has plenty to offer visitors.

The Sustainable Grenadine Inc’s recently approved Ashton Lagoon Restoration Project will facilitate a tourism steering committee to orchestrate such a linked-up package, while another proposal is in the works for the National Trust.

Snail

Robert William Rankin

Sustainable Grenadines Inc

(colugos.blogspot.com)

4 comments on this post.
  1. Lisa Sorenson:

    Congrats on this fantastic find! And good to see your closing comments – Union does indeed have a lot to offer!!!

  2. Lisa Sorenson:

    Great to see you guys in action in the field in the YouTube video!!! I was just in Grand Bahama and we saw/heard a number of Black-whiskered Vireos too! Love to see that the bird ID card is coming in handy! Keep up the great work, Rob, Katrina and crew!

  3. Sylvia:

    Way to go Stanton! Keep up the good work! Sylvia

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