Wednesday, July 09, 2008


So I was off island last week questing into deep dark habitat to try and find an endangered Caribbean endemic. Check out the shot below illustrating the horrible conditions I had to trek through:

hickatee habitat

Whaddaya mean it looks quite nice?!? It's hard work herping in the brutal environment of the....erm....Marriott Resort in Grand Cayman. Oh OK yes I was lounging around a hotel bar but there really was wildlife to be seen, I promise. Cayman, along with Cuba, is home to an endemic freshwater turtle the taco river slider or hickatee , Trachemys decussata angusta. As part of a program to highlight their existence and plight a small group are living the highlife in the Marriott's courtyard lagoon.


As you can probably tell they are related to the ninja red eared slider which has (unsurprisingly) established populations in Cayman as well as everywhere else and is rapidly hybridising with the locals. Luckily the natives appear to do as well in captivity as their more aggressive relatives so they are doing alright for now (and 20 of them are doing very well indeed).


Well done to the Marriott for getting involved and providing these little chaps with such a cool home.


Joe said...

Grand Cayman is a beautiful and a very clean country. I have visited there twice.

Julia said...

Oh you do have such a tough life don't you? My heart bleeds for you almost as much as it bleeds for Cristiano Ronaldo being forced into slave labour on a mere £120,000 a week. ;-)

tai haku said...

It is a hard life julia! Joe - thanks for this and your other comments; sorry for the delay responding - I've been caught up with work and my new comments widget seems to be broken so I missed them! I'll definately be checking out your blog - it sounds great.