Category: Endemic Animal Festival

Festival Celebrates Unique Birds in Unique Ways All Over the Caribbean

Students learn while playing a game from the BirdSleuth Caribbean program. (Photo by Otto Williamson)

At dozens of events on more than 20 islands, people of all ages came together to celebrate and protect their birds. The events were part of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, organized by BirdsCaribbean. The festival highlights endemic birds—the ones found only in the region—and how to protect them.

There are over 170 kinds of bird that live only in the Caribbean. Many of these live only on a single island, and many are rare. The events celebrating these unique birds are also unique. Groups all over the region find different ways to celebrate and learn about these birds.

In Puerto Rico, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources took part in several events, including walks, talks and crafts. At the Ponce Museum of Art, a special guided tour shared birds and nature in the museum’s artwork. This was the first tour of its kind in the 60 years since the museum was founded.

Visitors learn about nature in art during a guided tour of Ponce Museum of Art in Puerto Rico. (Photo: Adrianne G. Tossas)

This year’s festival theme was Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution, and many activities featured cleanups and learning about plastic waste. In Jamaica, the National Environment and Planning Agency led activities and games from the BirdSleuth Caribbean program. These activities help kids learn about the problems that birds face, like plastic debris. In Venezuela, the group Ave Zona held a beach cleanup on Isla de Coche. On the island of St. Martin, kids decorated bird feeders made from reused plastic bottles.

Youth decorate bird feeders made from plastic bottles at the Endemic Animal Festival on St. Martin. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)

“We are so happy that our 18th Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival reached so many people,” said festival coordinator Eduardo Llegus. “We are especially happy to see the many creative ways people have found to share, honor and help our birds. Our birds are unique symbols of our region. To protect them is to protect our heritage, our nature and our communities.”

The Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival is organized by BirdsCaribbean. Thousands of youth and adults participate each year in activities hosted by dozens of local groups on over 20 islands. For more information, visit http://birdscaribbean.org.

Dream Team of Volunteers Shares Local Heritage at Endemic Animal Festival

A fantastic team of 45 volunteers hosted the festival.

A great team of 45 volunteers came together on Sunday to host the Endemic Animal Festival. The event is a showcase for the animals that live only on St. Martin. This year, the festival used the theme Survivors to celebrate many different aspects of local heritage and culture.

“In six years of hosting this event, this was our most amazing team of volunteers yet,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “People of all ages and backgrounds worked together to share the things that make this island so special. Thanks to this team, we were able to offer more fun activities and interact more with the kids and families that came out to the festival.”

Guests get up close with animals that live only on St. Martin.

The Endemic Animal Discovery Station has been a feature of the event since the beginning. Guests learn about the critters that live here and nowhere else, and why St. Martin’s nature is so special and unique. Art and craft activities are also a mainstay of the event. This year, guests enjoyed painting bird feeders made from upcycled plastic bottles.

Plastic water bottles were transformed into colorful bird feeders.
BirdSleuth Caribbean activities combined fun and learning.

Many exhibits and activities used the Suvivors theme to share other parts of local heritage. At the Story Survival station, guests recorded oral histories about life on St. Martin. A special exhibit of poems, from the recent Lasana M. Sekou book Hurricane Protocol, explored trauma, loss and survival. At the Plantilles Station, guests received seedlings of native trees that can boost survival of native animals. They also took home plants used in bush medicine, which is the island’s oldest healing tradition.

Guests took home native trees and other plants.

“The festival weaves local nature and culture together in new ways each year,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “This island is beautiful and fascinating. It is a joy to share that wonder with young St. Martiners. It’s also a chance for us to learn new things from the guests who come. Listening, recording and sharing are all part of the magic.”

The Hurricane Protocol exhibit gave guests a new way to read and hear the poems of Lasana M. Sekou.

The Endemic Animal Festival was created by the Les Fruits de Mer association. This year’s event was held at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter. The Hurricane Protocol and 5,000 Years of Eco exhibits are still on display during museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to noon. The 2019 festival was made possible by the support of Gold Sponsor Delta Petroleum and sponsors 97150, BirdsCaribbean, Buzz, IZI Light, L’Auberge Gourmande, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, St. Martin’s Sweetness and Tri-Sport.

Survivors

Nature on St. Martin is precious. It’s precious because it’s unique. It’s precious because it lives on through drought and hurricane. It’s precious because it protects us from floods and landslides. It’s precious because it is the natural heritage of everyone on the island. It’s precious because there isn’t so much of it left. It’s precious because it still holds treasures yet to be discovered.

Nothing represents this better than the animals that live only on St. Martin. These species are true St. Martiners, and true survivors. They arrived on the island by chance in the distant past, and they made this island their home.

This lizard’s ancestors crossed a sea.

Each one of these species has a different story, and all of them are lost to time. The ancestors of our Bearded Anole likely arrived on St. Martin before modern humans even existed. Perhaps they held tightly to the limbs of a giant tree that was torn from the ground and washed to sea by a hurricane. They were storm survivors.

Carried by the currents, they crossed the sea, from their home island to ours. They were lucky enough to arrive on St. Martin before dying of hunger or thirst. They were seafaring survivors.

Suddenly, they were in a new place. The landscape was not the same as their old home. The forest was not the same. The insects they eat were not the same. The lizards they compete with for food were not the same. The birds that eat them were not the same. Most of these things were similar, but the Bearded Anole ancestors had spent millions of years becoming perfect for their old home. Here, everything was different.

Like other local species, the Bearded Anole had to adapt to survive dry times.

What’s a lizard to do in a situation like this? Adapt. Or perish. The ancestors of the Bearded Anole adapted and they survived. They transformed into something new. They become something unique in all the world. They perfected themselves for this place. They were St. Martin survivors.

The story of these amazing animals should be known. Because they are amazing. Because they should be protected. Because they are a metaphor for everyone and everything that has adapted to St. Martin rather than trying to change St. Martin. Because they are unique in all the world and they are St. Martin’s.

Today this lizard must adapt itself to the ways humans are changing the island.

You can discover the Bearded Anole and other animals found only on St. Martin at the Endemic Animal Festival. The free festival is Sunday, April 28th from 9am-noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House on the hill above Galion beach in French Quarter. There will be fun activities and fascinating exhibits about these special animals and much more. For more information visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.

Free Festival Celebrates Local Animals and More This Sunday

Guests can decorate and bring home a bird feeder.

The Les Fruits de Mer association welcomes everyone to the 6th annual Endemic Animal Festival this Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon. The free festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. The event celebrates the animals that live only on St. Martin, with special exhibits and fun activities.

The Spotted Woodslave is one of the animals found only on St. Martin.

“Our theme this year is Survivors,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “Our endemic animals are the ultimate survivors. By adapting to survive on St. Martin, they became unique species that are found nowhere else on earth.”

The free Endemic Animal Festival is this Sunday, April 28th from 9am-noon at Amuseum Naturalis.

The festival’s Endemic Animal Discovery Station will feature many of the special critters that live only on St. Martin. They are a key part of the heritage of the island. If they were lost here, they would disappear from the world. Kids and adults can also learn about birds that live only in our region with fun games and activities from the BirdSleuth Caribbean program.

BirdSleuth Caribbean activities are a fun way to learn about birds on St. Martin.

The festival will also use the theme Survivors to explore local heritage in other ways. A special exhibit of poems from the new book Hurricane Protocol by renowned writer Lasana M. Sekou tells stories of survival in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Visitors will get a preview of Soualibra, a new research library that collects and shares knowledge about St. Martin. A special exhibit will highlight 5,000 years of eco-friendly traditions on St. Martin.

Les Fruits de Mer volunteers have been busy growing native trees and other plants to give away at the event.

“At this festival, guests can help St. Martin’s survival,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “You can decorate a bird feeder made from a re-used plastic bottle, and take it home to feed birds in your backyard. You can also take home free seedlings of native trees and other plants. You’ll learn about some of the threats we all face here, but also take steps to make the island stronger.”

The Endemic Animal Festival is great for all ages, especially kids. Festival guests will also be able to enjoy all the regular exhibits at Amuseum Naturalis, which is located on the hill above Galion Beach in French Quarter. The 2019 festival is completely free thanks to the generous support of Gold Sponsor Delta Petroleum and sponsors 97150, BirdsCaribbean, Buzz, IZI Light, L’Auberge Gourmande, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, St. Martin’s Sweetness and Tri-Sport.

Thank You 2019 EAF Sponsors!

Sponsorship is what makes the Endemic Animal Festival possible. We are able to create and share great exhibits and activities with the public for free, thanks to the local businesses that contribute to this event. We hope you support them!

2019 Gold Sponsor

Delta Petroleum
Founded in 1985, Delta serves the Caribbean with superior performance diesel, gasoline and LPG meeting U.S. and European standards. Delta is a proud and growing member of the communities from the Virgin Islands to Martinique. Delta Petroleum has sponsored Les Fruits de Mer events since 2013.
http://deltapetroleum.com


2019 Sponsors

97150
97150 is St. Martin’s most popular bi-weekly newspaper in French. Get all the latest news, find out about upcoming events and much more! Available for free every Tuesday and Friday all over the island and online, too!
97150


BirdsCaribbean
BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. They raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. They are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in their programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region.
http://www.birdscaribbean.org


Buzz
If you need the latest in tech and electronics, head to Buzz. You’ll find computers, phones, entertainment, cameras and more. They are an official Apple reseller and they have two convenient locations: Buzz in Hope Estate and the Ti Buzz boutique in Howell Center.
https://buzzsxm.fr


IZI Light
Do you need to brighten your home or business for security or convenience? IZI Light offers innovative solar lighting solutions from streetlights to landscape lighting. Solar lighting is easily installed with no wiring needed, and a variety of long-lasting LED lights are available.
IZI Light


L’Auberge Gourmande
Auberge Gourmande, in the center of restaurant row in Grand Case, serves fine French cuisine in an intimate dining room in one of the oldest Créole houses on the island. Lovingly remodeled in subtle browns and yellows, the wood and stone of the old house harken back to a time of slower pleasures. Enjoy an evening on their terrace or step inside to find your favorite alcove.
L’Auberge Gourmande


LagooniesLagoonies Bistro and Bar
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar serves food that is crazy good for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts some of the hottest live music on the island several nights a week. Located at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay, they are easily accessible by land or sea.
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar


L’Esperance Hotel
Conveniently located in Cay Hill with easy access to both Philipsburg and Simpson Bay, L’Esperance Hotel features 22 spacious and luxurious one and two bedroom suites appointed in tropical rattan. Features include our beautiful pool with a sun deck, air-conditioning, cable TV, direct dial telephones, in-room safes, full kitchens, private balconies, and free Wifi.
http://www.lesperancehotel.com


St. Martin’s Sweetness
St. Martin’s Sweetness is a home grown company on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten that produces and sells high-end baked traditional St. Martin pastries, juices, confectioneries, foods and goods to retail and wholesale customers. We sell premade as well as made-to-order products using local and Caribbean ingredients. St. Martin’s Sweetness makes every day sweet with products ranging from coconut tarts and sugar cakes to tamarind juices and stewed gooseberry jam.


Tri-Sport-Logo-webTri-Sport
Tri-Sport is the go-to shop for the active community of St. Maarten/St. Martin and the neighboring islands of Anguilla, Saba, Statia, and St. Barths. They run ecologically-friendly tours that get people out and moving – kayaking, bicycling, hiking, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Tri-Sport’s retail shops carry all the necessities for triathlons with an emphasis on bicycles.
http://trisportsxm.com

Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival Takes Aim at Plastic Pollution

Save birds by fighting plastic pollution in the Caribbean.

Every spring, groups on islands all over the Caribbean celebrate the birds that live only in the region. These events are all part of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, organized by BirdsCaribbean. This year, the theme of the festival is Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.

“Plastic pollution is a global problem, and it hurts the Caribbean in many ways,” explained festival coordinator Sheylda Diaz Mendez. “Our islands are home to over 170 birds found nowhere else in the world. They depend on clean wild spaces to live.”

On St. Martin, the Les Fruits de Mer association hosts the Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis. The free festival will feature the animals that live only on St. Martin. Other parts of local nature and heritage will also be explored using the theme Survivors.

Learn to love the amazing animals that live only on St. Martin.

“The animals and plants that live only on St. Martin are survivors,” explained Les Fruits de Mer president Jenn Yerkes. “The people that lived here throughout history and prehistory are survivors, too. And for us to survive in the future, we need to take care of our island and our planet. Plastic pollution is one of the big problems we need to solve.”

Endemic Animal Festival guests can decorate a bird feeder made out of a plastic water bottle. They can also see how 5,000 years of recycling traditions on St. Martin might hold the key to a more eco-friendly future. The free event also includes fun bird activities, a poetry exhibit and much more.

St. Martin’s Endemic Animal Festival will be April 28th from 9am-noon at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter.

Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival events are held between Earth Day on April 22nd and International Biodiversity Day on May 22nd. The Endemic Animal Festival on St. Martin is Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis. To learn more about this free event, visit lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.

Amuseum Naturalis to Launch Research Library and Poetry Exhibit

The Hurricane Protocol exhibit will launch at the Endemic Animal Festival.

The Les Fruits de Mer association will be showcasing two new projects at Amuseum Naturalis this month. One is Soualibra, a free research library focused on St. Martin. The other is an exhibit of poems from Hurricane Protocol, the latest book by acclaimed St. Martin author Lasana M. Sekou.

“We’re excited to launch two projects related to the written word and St. Martin,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “The Hurricane Protocol exhibit will be a new way to experience the work of this renowned St. Martin poet.”

The poems in Hurricane Protocol were written during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. They explore the impact of the destruction on individuals, families and communities. Selections will be presented in a large format outdoor installation, the first museum exhibit for Sekou and the first poetry exhibit at Amuseum Naturalis.

Soualibra is a free research library focused on St. Martin.

Soualibra is a research library collecting books and other materials from and about St. Martin. The library catalog, including links to digital resources, is at http://soualibra.com. The physical library is at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter. It contains over 100 books about nature, history, culture and literature. Soualibra’s wishlist contains many more. Susanne van Mierlo is Soualibra’s head librarian.

“When the libraries on the island closed after Hurricane Irma, it was a wake-up call,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “We can’t offer the range of services of a public library, but a resource focused just on St. Martin that is open to the public is something we think will have lasting value. Only a tiny fraction of this information is available online.”

Susanne van Mierlo is Soualibra’s head librarian.

The launch of the Hurricane Protocol exhibit and a special preview of Soualibra will take place at the Endemic Animal Festival at Amuseum Naturalis. The festival is a free public event for all ages that celebrates the unique wildlife and natural heritage of St. Martin. The 2019 event will take place at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter on Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon. This year’s event is made possible by Gold Sponsor Delta Petroleum and sponsors 97150, BirdsCaribbean, Buzz, IZI Light, L’Auberge Gourmande, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, St. Martin’s Sweetness and Tri-Sport.

Thank You Endemic Animal Festival Sponsors!

We are incredibly lucky to have the support of some great local businesses. Their contributions allow us to do amazing things and keep the Endemic Animal Festival free so everyone can enjoy it!

2019 Gold Sponsor

Delta Petroleum
Founded in 1985, Delta serves the Caribbean with superior performance diesel, gasoline and LPG meeting U.S. and European standards. Delta is a proud and growing member of the communities from the Virgin Islands to Martinique. Delta Petroleum has sponsored Les Fruits de Mer events since 2013.
http://deltapetroleum.com


2019 Sponsors

97150
97150 is St. Martin’s most popular bi-weekly newspaper in French. Get all the latest news, find out about upcoming events and much more! Available for free every Tuesday and Friday all over the island and online, too!
97150


BirdsCaribbean
BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. They raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. They are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in their programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region.
http://www.birdscaribbean.org


Buzz
If you need the latest in tech and electronics, head to Buzz. You’ll find computers, phones, entertainment, cameras and more. They are an official Apple reseller and they have two convenient locations: Buzz in Hope Estate and the Ti Buzz boutique in Howell Center.
https://buzzsxm.fr


IZI Light
Do you need to brighten your home or business for security or convenience? IZI Light offers innovative solar lighting solutions from streetlights to landscape lighting. Solar lighting is easily installed with no wiring needed, and a variety of long-lasting LED lights are available.
IZI Light


L’Auberge Gourmande
Auberge Gourmande, in the center of restaurant row in Grand Case, serves fine French cuisine in an intimate dining room in one of the oldest Créole houses on the island. Lovingly remodeled in subtle browns and yellows, the wood and stone of the old house harken back to a time of slower pleasures. Enjoy an evening on their terrace or step inside to find your favorite alcove.
L’Auberge Gourmande


LagooniesLagoonies Bistro and Bar
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar serves food that is crazy good for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts some of the hottest live music on the island several nights a week. Located at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay, they are easily accessible by land or sea.
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar


L’Esperance Hotel
Conveniently located in Cay Hill with easy access to both Philipsburg and Simpson Bay, L’Esperance Hotel features 22 spacious and luxurious one and two bedroom suites appointed in tropical rattan. Features include our beautiful pool with a sun deck, air-conditioning, cable TV, direct dial telephones, in-room safes, full kitchens, private balconies, and free Wifi.
http://www.lesperancehotel.com


St. Martin’s Sweetness
St. Martin’s Sweetness is a home grown company on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten that produces and sells high-end baked traditional St. Martin pastries, juices, confectioneries, foods and goods to retail and wholesale customers. We sell premade as well as made-to-order products using local and Caribbean ingredients. St. Martin’s Sweetness makes every day sweet with products ranging from coconut tarts and sugar cakes to tamarind juices and stewed gooseberry jam.


Tri-Sport-Logo-webTri-Sport
Tri-Sport is the go-to shop for the active community of St. Maarten/St. Martin and the neighboring islands of Anguilla, Saba, Statia, and St. Barths. They run ecologically-friendly tours that get people out and moving – kayaking, bicycling, hiking, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Tri-Sport’s retail shops carry all the necessities for triathlons with an emphasis on bicycles.
http://trisportsxm.com


Endemic Animal Festival Gets Big Boost from Delta Petroleum

The Les Fruits de Mer association is hard at work on the annual Endemic Animal Festival, coming up on Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis. This year’s theme is Survivors. The festival will feature more activities and special exhibits than ever, but it will still be free to the public thanks to a Gold Sponsorship from Delta Petroleum and sponsorships from nine other local business.

“The Endemic Animal Festival celebrates the animals that live only on St. Martin,” explained Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “These species are true survivors who have adapted to this island. We’ll also explore survival in other ways: how plants survive drought, how people survived on St. Martin in the past and how we all can help St. Martin survive in the future.”

The festival will feature native plant giveways, a bottle recycling art activity, and fun games about local birds. Special exhibits will include an outdoor poetry installation and a display highlighting 5,000 years of reusing and recycling on St. Martin. There will also be a station where guests can see some of the amazing animals that live only here.

This year’s festivities are bigger than ever, but it won’t cost a penny to enjoy them. Long-time sponsor Delta Petroleum became a Gold Sponsor this year so everyone can attend. Sponsorship funds will keep the festival free and also provide buses to the event for youth groups.

“We love supporting our community through this festival,” said Delta Petroleum General Manager Christian Papaliolios. “Local nature and heritage are things that everyone on the island should have a chance to learn about and treasure. You can’t put a price on them.”

Les Fruits de Mer’s annual Endemic Animal Festival is a free public event for all ages that celebrates the unique wildlife and natural heritage of St. Martin. The 2019 event will take place at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter on Sunday, April 28th from 9am to noon. This year’s event is made possible by Gold Sponsor Delta Petroleum and sponsors 97150, BirdsCaribbean, Buzz, IZI Light, L’Auberge Gourmande, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, L’Esperance Hotel and Tri-Sport.

Delta Petroleum is the Gold Sponsor of the 2019 Endemic Animal Festival.

Hundreds Discover St. Martin Wildlife at Endemic Animal Festival

Lizards and local plants were both celebrated at the Endemic Animal Festival. (Photo by Jenn Yerkes)

Nearly 300 people learned about the animals that live only on St. Martin at the fifth annual Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday. They were welcomed by over 30 volunteers and experts sharing diverse topics like nature in St. Martin literature, sharks, iguanas, native plants and animals, stone walls and local building traditions. The event was hosted by the Les Fruits de Mer association at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter.

“We were thrilled to see so many people having fun and discovering this island’s unique animals!” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “This was our first public event at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House. We’re working with the community to make this a place where many voices share what is special about St. Martin. So we were also really excited to invite local experts to present. They used this year’s theme—Made Here—to connect local wildlife to many other parts of local heritage.”

Experts from St. Martin and Anguilla shared their work on nature and heritage. (Photo by Jenn Yerkes)

Local experts shared on seven fascinating topics at this year’s festival. Tadzio Bervoets and the St. Maarten Nature Foundation presented about the island’s sharks. Author and publisher Lasana M. Sekou prepared selections of local poetry and writing about nature for display. Christophe Henocq highlighted historic stone walls as a unique habitat for plants and animals. Laura Bijnsdorp and EPIC presented on how local plants help protect the island. Bird specialist Binkie van Es led fun activities from the BirdSleuth Caribbean program. The Anguilla National Trust shared their work to save rare iguanas on Anguilla, which used to live on St. Martin. Mark Yokoyama showcased St. Martin’s endemic animals. 

The Festival’s wildlife art station was busy with young artists throughout the event.

Kids and adults enjoyed several animal-themed arts and crafts, including making iguana masks and hand-painting wildlife bags. Guests also learned about Plantilles, the heritage plant program getting started on the grounds of Amuseum Naturalis. The project includes community gardens, a native plants nursery and a bush tea garden.

This year’s festival was the first chance in several years for the public to see the historic Old House in French Quarter. It will be the new home of free nature museum Amuseum Naturalis, which is moving there after two years in Grand Case. Over 100 volunteers have helped prepare the property since the beginning of the year. Les Fruits de Mer hosts regular volunteer events on weekends, and welcomes everyone to get involved. The association is hoping to relaunch the museum itself later this year.

Les Fruits de Mer is developing the historic Old House as a museum and community center. (Photo by Agnes Etchegoyen)

The Endemic Animal Festival was free to the public. This was made possible by the festival sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Delta Petroleum, Happy Wine, Location De Bennes Diligence Express, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar and Tri-Sport. Visit lesfruitsdemer.com to learn more about Les Fruits de Mer, the festival, volunteering and future activities. The public is invited to join the association and take part in creating Amuseum Naturalis and Plantilles for the island.

Over 30 volunteers and experts made the Endemic Animal Festival possible. (Photo by Agnes Etchegoyen)

Free Festival on Sunday Celebrates Animals Made Here and More

The Endemic Animal Festival is a free public event for all ages that celebrates the unique wildlife and natural heritage of St. Martin.

The Endemic Animal Festival is a free event celebrating the animals found only on St. Martin and only in our region. It’s coming up this Sunday, May 20th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House. Residents and visitors of all ages are encouraged to stop by and learn about these unique animals—and much more!

The Bearded Anole is one of several animals that lives only on St. Martin and nowhere else in the world.

Made Here is the theme of this year’s festival, and we are incredibly excited to have so many local experts at the festival to share their knowledge and passion with the public,” explained Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “Amuseum Naturalis will be a place where the people of the island can share their stories. We’re starting that now, by working with experts here to showcase what is unique about the island in many different areas.”

Author and publisher Lasana M. Sekou has contributed selections of poetry and prose related to local nature that will be on display. Tadzio Bervoets of St. Maarten Nature Foundation will highlight how sharks are important for the island. Christophe Henocq will present on how historic “slave walls” now create a special habitat for plants and animals.

The 2018 Endemic Animal Festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter.

Members of the Anguilla National Trust will be sharing their work in saving the rare iguanas that once lived on St. Martin. Members of EPIC will be explaining how native plants and trees make the island stronger. Bird guide Binkie van Es will be leading BirdSleuth Caribbean activities for kids and adults.

The festival will feature an Endemic Animal Discovery Station where guests can see some of the animals that live only here. Visitors can learn more about Amuseum Naturalis and other projects in progress on the grounds of the museum. These include the Plantilles community gardens and the Seegrape studio, where the group will record St. Martiners telling their stories in their own words. Fun art activities related to wildlife are planned for kids and adults to enjoy.

Volunteers have prepared Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House to host festival exhibits and activities.

Les Fruits de Mer’s annual Endemic Animal Festival is a free public event for all ages that celebrates the unique wildlife and natural heritage of St. Martin. The 2018 festival will be held Sunday, May 20th from 9am to noon at the new site of Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. It’s located on the top of the hill just after the turnoff to Le Galion, when coming towards French Quarter from Grand Case. The festival is made possible by support from our sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Delta Petroleum, Happy Wine, Location De Bennes Diligence Express, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar and Tri-Sport.



BirdsCaribbean: 2018 EAF Sponsor!

Thanks to BirdsCaribbean for continuing their support of the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. They raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. They are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in their programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region.
http://www.birdscaribbean.org

Delta Petroleum: 2018 EAF Sponsor!

Thanks to Delta Petroleum for continuing their support of the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

Founded in 1985, Delta serves the Caribbean with superior performance diesel, gasoline and LPG meeting U.S. and European standards. Delta is a proud and growing member of the communities from the Virgin Islands to Martinique. Delta Petroleum has sponsored Les Fruits de Mer events since 2013.
http://deltapetroleum.com

Location de Bennes: EAF 2018 Sponsor!

Thanks to Location de Bennes for supporting the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

Do you need reliable delivery and pickup of dumpsters? Call Eric at 0690-37-81-59! He will deliver to your location and pick up when you are done filling your container. Location de Bennes is friendly and dependable and their containers open for easy loading.

Happy Wine: 2018 EAF Sponsor!

Thanks to Happy Wine for supporting the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

Enjoy great wines and great value with Happy Wine. Happy Wine distributes to both restaurants and individuals, so you can enjoy the expertise that top restaurants rely on when buying wine for your own home. All of the wines distributed by Happy Wine are certified organic!
Happy Wine

Lagoonies: EAF 2018 Sponsor!

Thanks to Lagoonies Bistro and Bar for continuing their support of the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

Lagoonies Bistro and Bar serves food that is crazy good for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts some of the hottest live music on the island several nights a week. Located at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay, they are easily accessible by land or sea.
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar

Tri-Sport: EAF 2018 Sponsor!

Thanks to Tri-Sport for continuing their support of the Endemic Animal Festival! Our sponsors are the ones who make it possible for us to put on great events and make them completely free.

Tri-Sport is the go-to shop for the active community of St. Maarten/St. Martin and the neighboring islands of Anguilla, Saba, Statia, and St. Barths. They run ecologically-friendly tours that get people out and moving – kayaking, bicycling, hiking, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Tri-Sport’s retail shops carry all the necessities for triathlons with an emphasis on bicycles.

http://trisportsxm.com

BirdSleuth with Binkie!

Les Fruits de Mer is excited to have Binkie van Es on board for the 2018 Endemic Animal Festival. Binkie is a certified BirdSleuth trainer and he will be leading this fun program at the event. BirdSleuth Caribbean is a fun set of educational activities that use birds to teach science and other skills. It is the only program of its kind that was developed specifically for the Caribbean. Kids and adults are welcome to join in the activities, and teachers are invited to learn the program for use in their own classrooms.

Binkie is an expert birder and birding guide, with the highest level of certification with the Caribbean Birding Trail Guide program. He is a board member of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation and a committee member of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. He is also a BirdsCaribbean member and EPIC volunteer. He also does bird monitoring on for Vogelbescherming Nederland.

Free Ebook Tells Stories of Animals After Irma

The Animals of Irma’s Island is a free ebook about St. Martin wildlife after Hurricane Irma.

With their fifth annual Endemic Animal Festival coming up on May 20th, the Les Fruits de Mer association released a new ebook. The Animals of Irma’s Island is full of stories about local wildlife after Hurricane Irma. You can download it for free at the group’s website.

“The aftermath of Hurricane Irma was a special time for both people and nature,” explained author Mark Yokoyama. “There were many hardships, but it was amazing to see nature in action. The chapters in this ebook were written between September and December 2017. They show nature bouncing back during that time.”

The ebook was made for this year’s Endemic Animal Festival. This event celebrates the animals that are found only on St. Martin or only in our region. The 2018 theme is Made Here.

“We’re excited to host this year’s festival at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We’re still working on the museum itself, but this beautiful space is the perfect place to learn about St. Martin’s unique wildlife. We’ll also use the theme Made Here to show how nature connects to other parts of local heritage.”

The Endemic Animal Festival is a free public event for all ages. Activities include an Endemic Animal Discovery Station, birdwatching, and wildlife-themed art activities. Guests will learn about Plantilles, a series of native plant and community garden projects at The Old House. Several local experts will explore the Made Here theme as it relates to local wildlife, heritage and culture.

The 2018 festival will be held Sunday, May 20th from 9am to noon, and is made possible by support from our sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Delta Petroleum, Happy Wine, Location De Bennes Diligence Express, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar and Tri-Sport. Visit lesfruitsdemer.com for more information about the festival, and to download The Animals of Irma’s Island.

Endemic Animal Festival 2017 Press Roundup

Huge thanks to local media of all types for helping us spread the word about the Endemic Animal Festival! Here are selections from the press about this year’s event.

The Daily Herald, April 2017

The Daily Herald, April 2017

The Daily Herald, April 2017

St. Martin’s Week, April 2017

Today Newspaper, April 2017

Wa’appen, April 2017

St. Martin’s Week, April 2017

97150, April 2017

The Daily Herald, April 2017

SXM Fax Info, April 2017

Le Pélican, April 2017

Soualiga Newsday
Le Pélican
SXM Fax Info
The Daily Herald
97150
SXM Island Time
Soualiga Post
Pearl FM Radio
SXM Island Time
The Daily Herald
Soualiga Newsday
Soualiga Post
97150
Soualiga Newsday
St. Martin News
721 News
SXM Island Time
Le Pélican

Hundreds Enjoy Local Wildlife at Endemic Animal Festival

Endemic Animal Festival guests enjoyed painting bird feeders made from local calabash and recycled fishing line. Photo by Tim Cam.

Hundreds of guests from St. Martin and beyond learned about local wildlife at the fourth annual Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday. The event, held at Amuseum Naturalis in Grand Case, featured animals found nowhere else in the world and a variety of activities for young and old. Created by the Les Fruits de Mer association, the festival is free and takes place each April.

“Getting to know the animals that live only on St. Martin is a fundamental part of understanding the island,” explained Mark Yokoyama, co-founder of Les Fruits de Mer. “The Endemic Animal Festival is one of our most important initiatives because it is a truly authentic, only on St. Martin experience.”

The Endemic Animal Discovery Station featured species found only on St. Martin and nowhere else in the world. Photo by Claire Affagard.

This year’s festival included a variety of fun ways to celebrate and explore island wildlife. The Endemic Animal Discovery Station showcased two species of lizard and one insect that are found only on St. Martin, as well as other species that live on only a few islands. Local wildlife experts were on hand to talk about the animals and answer questions. Guests painted bird feeders made from calabash and took home seedlings of the Gaïac, an endangered native tree.

“Hosting the festival at Amuseum Naturalis was a great addition to the event this year,” added Jenn Yerkes, President of Les Fruits de Mer. “Guests were able to enjoy over a dozen exhibits about local nature and our program of short nature documentaries in addition to the festival activities. If you haven’t been to the Amuseum yet, we’re open for two more days this season: April 28th and May 2nd from 4-8pm at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case. It’s free to visit.”

The Endemic Animal Festival was made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Caribbean Paddling, Delta Petroleum, Hotel L’Esplanade, IGY Marinas, Lagoonies Bistro & Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, Rain Forest Adventures, The Scuba Shop, Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Tri-Sport. For more information, and to see photos from the event, visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

Festival attendees received a free seedling of the Gaïac, an endangered native tree. Photo by Claire Affagard.