|DECR Round-Up: Threats to Caicos pine|
|Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:25|
The national tree, the Caicos pine, is under attack, but the DECR is leading the fight against its extinction.
An introduced pest insect, the pine tortoise scale, has caused severe population decline of the tree on the islands of Pine Cay, North Caicos and Middle Caicos. Adding to this problem, an excessive amount of dry wood from dead trees has resulted in normal seasonal fires (which pine trees tolerate) burning with far greater intensity, killing seedlings and seeds so new trees cannot grow.
Salt intrusion from hurricanes in 2008 or perhaps sea level rise also has caused the groundwater to turn brackish, further stressing trees.
The DECR and other agencies have been working to determine the extend of and mitigate the threats. Failure to continue to act on this matter will definitely result in the wiping out of pine trees from TCI.
The DECR says the problem has the potential to change the entire ecosystem because the pine tree is the key component of the pine yard habitat. This habitat is home to many important plant species, like the TCI endemic Caroline’s Stenandrium and is a potential winter home for the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler.
The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) would like to remind the general public and companies that applications and renewals for operating commercially within the National Parks began June 1.
All operators are reminded to ensure that their establishment and vessels are licensed for the upcoming season July 1.
Conch exports closed
The DECR wishes to inform the public that the closed season for conch export runs from Oct. 15 to July 15 inclusive each year, or such other dates as may from time to time be appointed by the governor in the Gazette.
Any person who attempts to export conch during the closed export period shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of $50,000 or to imprisonment for 12 months, or both.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 18 July 2010 21:43|
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