Help for Brac Birds
Published 21st November 2008, 3:23pm
From Hazard Management Cayman Islandsí Joint Communications Service (JCS) Wildlife Rescue Underway, Thursday, 20 November, 2008 The National Trust reports that denuded and destroyed trees and vegetation resulting from Hurricane Paloma could lead to the surviving native wildlife on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman facing starvation. Birds are especially vulnerable, including the endangered endemic Cayman Brac Parrot and Red-legged Thrush, the White-winged Dove, baldpates, warblers and more. Many have been sighted foraging and competing at ground level for what little food remains. However, help is on the way. Using lessons learned from Grand Caymanís Ivan experience, the National Trustís Cayman Wildlife Rescue programme has been activated. Some 300 pounds of bird food, feeders and water trays recently arrived on the Brac, a post-Paloma initiative to offer immediate relief to wildlife which was kick-started by an anonymous $1,000 donation. National Trust staff will be traveling to the Brac to assess the hurricaneís impact on local wildlife, both off and on their own properties. They will assess two historic sites (Eldemire House and the Brac Trust House), as well as the 17-acre "Splits" reserve (a freshwater split on the Bluff) and the 281-acre Brac Parrot Reserve. "Brac residents are very concerned and are indeed eager to help the situation," said Wildlife Rescue Project Manager Alison Corbett. "Many have expressed deep concern and have volunteered to help their wildlife." Trust General Manager Frank Roulstone agrees. "We are encouraged that, even under very difficult conditions, people in the Brac are concerned for the well-being of these other residents who also have lost homes, food and water," he said. "Feeding birds after Ivan undoubtedly had a positive impact, and the situation in the Sister Islands is no different. It may be months before plants recover sufficiently to once again provide them with enough food." With that in mind, Cayman Wildlife Rescue plans to continue supplying both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman wildlife with food for as long as necessary. "Donations of bruised or over-ripe food would be greatly appreciated," Ms Corbett said. "Food suppliers and distributors may contact the Trust to donate fruit they cannot sell." Residents can also help by putting out food and water in elevated places. They are asked to contact Cayman Wildlife Rescue to offer assistance and others interested in donating or volunteering should contact Ms Corbett at 926-6474 or email@example.com .