Little Key is a tiny island in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. We visited the other day to take a look at how it is doing after Hurricane Irma and document some of the plants and animals living on the island. Meanwhile, EPIC, the Nature Foundation and a bunch of volunteers were planting mangroves near the islet. Below are some photos and a short video from Little Key.
I just wanted to thank Destination St. Martin/St. Maarten Magazine for giving us the chance to tell the story of the island’s fascinating wetland birds in the 2016 issue. Wildlife—at least of the animal sort—may not be the first thing on people’s minds when they think of St. Martin, but the nature of the island is a fascinating and unique part of what the island has to offer and we love to share our passion for it.
Birds—both migrants and year-round residents—are all over right now. They are resourceful, and many of the shorebirds and other wetland species will use any body of water available to them. As long as it has crabs, snails, aquatic insects or other food for them, that is. Check out a few photos here, but don’t forget to put the main event on your calendar, too: Migratory Bird Festival. See you there!
This morning we went on a nature walk to see the birds and other animals that live on the island. We were able to see many species that are endemic to the region or have a regional sub-species, like the Zenaida Dove, Carib Grackle, Black-faced Grassquit and Caribbean Elaenia. It was also just a lot of fun to take a walk and see how the local critters are doing in the scrub and around a couple ponds. Thanks to everyone who came!
The weather in the Caribbean may seem like summer year-round, but the tropical heat doesn’t mean there are no seasons. Like most tropical areas, rainfall is a primary differentiator for Caribbean seasons, and rainfall drives changes in vegetation as well as wildlife populations. While many animals can, and do, breed year-round in this area, reproductive rates can increase dramatically when rainy weather boosts the amount of food available. Clouds of butterflies in the winter are a noticeable example, but many other species are going through a population boom more quietly right now.