UK charity calls for more cash for OT’s birds

| 20/03/2012

cayman-parrot.jpg(CNS): The UK government needs to increase spending tenfold in its overseas territories, including Cayman, to protect significant numbers of birds facing extinction, the Royal Society for the Protection for Birds has warned. Graham Madge, an official from the ornithological charity, told the UK Sunday paper, The Observer, that fascinating and charismatic species of birds on the remote shores of UK overseas territories are now close to extinction. A report which has been submitted to the Foreign Office as part of the consultation process regarding the territories says 33 species of birds, including penguins, parrots and albatrosses, are now critically endangered across the remnants of the British Empire.

"Our overseas territories hold more threatened bird species than the entire European continent," said Madge. "Yet only £1.4m a year is spent by the government protecting habitats that provide homes for these endangered creatures. We need to spend 10 times that amount to save them."

The key concern for environmental activists is the need to improve care of the alarming number of threatened and endangered animals in the territories. "The overseas territories hold 85% of the threatened biodiversity for which the UK is responsible," said Jonathan Glenn-Hall of the RSPB.

Birds are not the only threatened species; the blue iguana in Cayman and sea turtles across the Caribbean, which will lose many nesting sites as global warming melts ice caps and causes sea levels to rise, are also at risk.

It is the importance of the bird populations of the overseas territories that is stressed by Madge, however, and in particular seabirds. When it comes to these, Britain is in second place among countries with the most threatened populations. Apart from feral invaders, ecologists have highlighted three other main dangers facing birds in overseas territories: climate change, poor planning controls and weak management of local fisheries.

In the Cayman Islands, the RSPB said uncontrolled development is destroying the habitats in which the Grand Cayman parrot and the Cayman Brac parrot breed, again with disastrous consequences for populations. "Many of these places rely on money brought by tourists who visit to see the exotic wildlife," added Madge. "We have a responsibility to make sure that wildlife survives."

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    80 years after being EXTINCT on Little Cayman and no one has given any thought to reintroduce the Cayman Parrot to Little!

    This is one major oversight considering all and various local conservation efforts on our islands.

    Why is Little being neglected as to the reintroduction of this species?

    With all the vacant undeveloped land, abundant trees and natural growing food sources, this is a win/win situation.

    This is a national shame to say the least!

     Someone please step forward and address this gross negligence and indifference to such a beautiful island and its lost national symbol.

    Graham Madge, would you be willing to take on this challenge and address this issue? To date, the Cayman National Trust hasn’t nor do I see any future plans to do so.

    Please do, because there is talk and then there is action; talk means nothing at all in this situation, action speaks for itself and the man standing behind it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So – which rare nesting pairs are you going to rip out of their protected zone in the Brac and force to Little Cayman? – and you had better clip their wings so they don’t fly back.

      No good relying on the Grand Cayman parrot. It is a different subspecies.

      Instead I suggest you call for more preservation of land and planting of trees that provide food for parrots generally.

  2. Anonymous says:

    News Alert!

    Our national bird, the Cayman Parrot, has been extinct on Little for over 8 decades.

    Brac and Grand will be next with some people’s way of thinking.

    LC has plenty of undeveloped land and plenty of woodland, aside from certain areas that well know and inconsiderate money-mongering developers have bulldozed (and no development has occurred or ever will).

    I’ve got no issues with these birds, unlike some on Grand, so send them over and we’ll be more than happy to give them a home where they’ll be welcomed.

    They’re preferable to the mosquitoes which probably will become our next national ‘bird’.

    • noname says:

      This seems like a nice idea, however, the parrots which were once on Little Cayman, and the Brac Parrots are a different subspecies to those found on Grand Cayman. They have the potential to hybridise and should not be mixed together. Capture of parrots (and all non-game wild birds) is an offense under the Animals Law, and moving them between islands is an offense under the Endangered Species Trade and Transport Law.



      • Anonymous says:

        OK, understood about the crossbreeding.

        Then Little will welcome a few breeding pairs of parrots from Brac.

        This is additional habitat, at no expense to anyone, to further help repopulate the declining population.

        Special dispensation, by forward thinking people, could and would allow a few birds to be brought over, legally, just to insure their survival as a Little/Brac subspecies.

        We’ve have 3 islands, so let’s us all the resources available to us; this would be foolish not to.

        It’s comparable to saying, as a farmer, that I have 3 fields upon which I can plant and harvest, but for some strange reason I decide to plant on only 2 and leave the 3rd barren forever.

        I’d be one stupid farmer if I did this.

        As I said before, the Brac parrots would be welcome; just think about the lost opportunity if you didn’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since the parrots on LC are extinct, it doesn't make a lot of difference what other parrots you put there

  3. Birdy says:

    Thats our UK FCO for you they worried about the Birds now! because it them and our so called leader keeping running Cayman OT this way only the birds will able to afford to live ya

  4. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    The FCO need to allocate funds to have our people better educated. Wildlife is nice, but why don't they contribute some fund to our education department for example. Are the interest of these folws being put before the people?

    • Anonymous says:

      With all due respect, we generate more than enough revenue to have our people properly educated. The problem is that the money which should be spent on education is wasted on overseas trips with friends, monetary "assistance" for anyone who might be predisposed to vote a certain way, paving of private parking lots, paying for broken contracts, etc. The list is endless…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh surely you mean wasted on $200,000,000 schools!!!! The UDP goverment has not spent in 3-1/2 years what the PPM spent on those two schools alone, and that is a fact.

        The UDP would have done so of course but the UK prevented it but the fact remains that $200M is one hella lot of cash and it does not 'educate or children'! simply house them during the day.

        Throw both UDP and PPM out next time.


        • Anonymous says:

          1. The schools, roads and govt. admin building were necessary because the UDP failed to build them during their time in office. They preferred to waste $65m plus $10m p.a. on Boatwain Beach instead.

          2. Although even $114m is too much it was the UDP that has caused the cost of the schools to rocket to $200m from $114m. When Minister Anglin took over he claimed he was making design changes to reduce the costs of the schools.

          3. As you ackowledge because of the approval of the UK required by the PMFL there was no opportunity for the UDP to spend an extra $200m, so saying they didn't spend that amount means nothing at all.

          4. Where they did have an opportunity to spend the UDP flushed ourmoney down the toilet and we got nothing in return. e.g. GLF – $2m, Cohen $1/2m, etc. 


        • Anonymous says:

          Are you stupid or just ill informed on what you think are facts?

          The FACT is that UDP spent in excess of $500,000,000.00 each and every one of those 3 1/2 years. That my friend equates to $1,750,000,000.00. Thats right One Billion, Seven hundred and fifty million dollars.

          I do not give the PPM any better grades than I give the UDP when it comes to wasteing money, however my friend FACTS are FACTS.

          Remember also this is still going on even with the restraints that UK may have imposed.

    • Like It Is says:

      Allocate those extra funds yourselves by deciding to join the modern world and have income taxes.  I have no pity for a greedy nation that under educates their children because iof a refusal to have a small income tax. 

      The funding for wildlife is necessary form the FCO because it is well know in London that this territory's various governments have done nothing to protect the environment, have horded funds that have been made available and tie their dogs to trees all day and night.

      • Anonymous says:

        And where are you from? Didn't realise anyone was "hording" anything. And are the dogs you speak of metaphorical?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is nothing modern about income taxes, and those countries using it have fared a lot worse than Cayman. There has been no shortage of funds spent on education. The question is whether it has been wisely spent. Revenue has also been wasted on grandiose projects which have very little value such as Boatswain Beach.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It soon may be:  "The UK government needs to increase spending tenfold in its overseas territories, including Cayman, to protect significant numbers of unemployed persons facing extinction…"

  6. Dare to Dream says:

    Graham Madge is talking bare rubbish.  Has he ever been down here to see just how many parrots are around the place.  They are not near extinction, that is just rhetoric. The UK government  needs to send some money to the farmers who lose so much of their earnings every year to wild life.  Don't get me wrong, i love the parrots and the blue iguanas as much as anyone, but I also love to go into my back yard and pick my papayas, mangoes, bananas and plantains before the parrots get them.   Also can we have some funds to keep our people from becoming extinct.   Has he heard  that "the Chinese are coming"  after that we will probably be allowed only 1 child per family.  What a thing Miss Chin!!

    • Like It Is says:

      I am not aware that humans are nearing extinction, therefore I can only conclude that your second last sentence was an allusion to bigotry and xenophobia.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hope some of that cash goes to prosecuting local farmers who kill the birds, local people who trap them and keep them in cages and to passing a local law to make it illegal to do these things.

  8. Kung Fu Iguana says:

    I have emailed the RSPB to let them know that US$40m is sitting in government accounts in the Cayman Islands for use on projects such as this. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, I was aabout to say I thought that we had money allocated to this already.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have more important things to do with that money – like keep afloat financially.