Cont’d from page 1 ... March 2006
They also made bird nests using yarn and flour paste as an art and craft activity. All participants received
coloured identification cards and fact sheets on some of Jamaica’s birds, an endemic bird poster, an activ-
ity booklet, and a copy of JET’s Earth Facts publication on birds.
The workshops were funded by the GOJ/CIDA ENACT Programme, BirdLife International, the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our sponsors. We look
forward to your continued support.
Teachers learn about Birds
“True Jamaicans: Jamaica’s
Threatened and Endemic
Birds” was the title for the
Inside this issue: February/March 2006
SEP Earth Kids 2 Programme (SEP) Teacher
Teachers trained in 2
environmental law Nine workshops were con-
and advocacy ducted islandwide and at-
tended by 307 participants,
The True Blackbird 3 including 256 principals
and teachers from 211
Marine Mammals: 4-5 schools, representatives of Teachers bird watching at Rocklands Bird
Giants of the Carib- the Ministry of Education Sanctuary in St. James.
bean. and non-governmental
organizations. sanctuaries, such as riculum infusion ses-
Important Bird 6-7 Marshall’s Pen in Man- sion in which the
Areas Participants learned about chester, Rocklands Bird teachers identified
the importance, forms and Sanctuary in St. James, areas in the curriculum
Jamaica Environment Trust Thank you SEP 8 functions of birds, and and Seven Oaks Sanc- where birds could be
11 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10 Sponsors their threats, using both tuary for Wildlife in St. introduced.
science and folklore as Ann.
Tel: 960-3693, Fax: 926-0212 educational tools. At intervals during the
Website: www.jamentrust.org Some teachers went workshops teachers
“I learned a lot about
Bird watching field trips bird watching in wet- participated in bird
Jamaica’s endemic birds introduced teachers to the lands, such as Barton g a me s , su c h a s
and I am interested to different habitats for birds Isle in St. Elizabeth, “Bioaccumulation”,
learn more so I can share and the threat posed by Yallahs Pond in St. “Owl and Mouse” and
the knowledge with oth- habitat degradation. The
ers,” Yvette Pryce, teacher Thomas and Palisa- “Flying into Danger”.
at Liberty Learning Centre.
field trips were done in does in Kingston.
nearby forests, or bird Cont’d on page 8 …
There was also a cur-
Editors: Diana McCaulay and Maureen Milbourn
Page 2 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 Page 7
schools and the surrounding com- communities in the buffer zones
SEP Earth Kids munities to increase public aware- of the Park.
SEP Earth Kids is the early childhood component of ness and appreciation for the birds
in the Cockpit Country. They are *28 is used instead of 30 as two of
SEP, and focuses on children between the ages of three
also identifying alternative means Jamaica’s endemic birds: Jamaican
and five. It is implemented in 35 schools island wide.
of income through ecotourism. Petrel and Jamaican Parauque are
This project focuses on the themes: “Water”, “Plants” considered extinct.
and “Animals.” Some participating schools have already
Bird Banding Programme Sources:
implemented at least one activity under these themes.
Other activities for this year include a SEP Earth Kids During the monthly bird banding • Cockpit Country
Teacher Training Workshop in May and the develop- session, the birds are captured A Yellow-faced Grassquit about www. cockpitcountry.com
ment of colouring books and story books. using a mist net. A band with a to be banded and assessed at the • March & September 2005
SEP Earth Kids is funded by the CHASE (Culture, unique ring number is fitted on bird banding station.
the bird’s leg. The health of the BirdLife Jamaica Broad-
Health, Arts, Sports and Education) Fund. It is coordi- sheet.
bird is also assessed and its age,
nated in collaboration with the Dudley Grant Memorial SEP Earth Kids educators display their art sex and breeding condition are Blue and John Crow • Report on Bird Monitoring
Trust, Shortwood Teachers’ College, St. Joseph Teach- work at last year’s SEP Teacher Training determined. Mountains National Park in the Blue and John Crow
ers’ College and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Workshop on biodiversity in St. Ann.
(BJCMNP). Mountains, Jamaica Con-
The Blue and John Crow Moun- servation and Development
tains National Park is located in Trust , 2004.
SEP Teachers trained in Environmental Law and Advocacy the eastern section of Jamaica,
covering parts of St. Thomas, St. Caribbean Endemic
Teachers in the Schools’ Environment Programme recently received training Andrew and Portland (see Figure Bird Festival
in applying Jamaica’s environmental laws in environmental conflict resolu- 1). It is managed by the Jamaica April 22 — May 22, 2006
tions. The workshop, entitled, “It Inna Di Law!” guided the teachers through Conservation and Development
the recently published book, It Inna Di Law! - A guide to Jamaica’s Environmental Trust (JCDT) and patrolled by
Laws, as they addressed some of Jamaica’s environmental problems. Dr. Koenig of Windsor Research park rangers. It was designated
Teachers learned about the law making process in Jamaica and how to use the Centre assessing a Greater Antil- an IBA because it is a habitat for
Access to Information Act. They also learned about the challenges in envi- lean Bullfinch at the bird banding all of Jamaica’s threatened and
Visit an IBA near you during
ronmental regulation. There was also an opportunity for them to formulate a station. endemic birds.
the months of April and May.
strategy to address some of the environmental problems in their communities In 2004, a four year study was Learn about its importance and
under the law. Data collected from re-captured or completed on the bird species conduct a bird count to deter-
re-sighted birds provides informa- diversity of different habitats in mine the number of threat-
The book, It Inna Di Law! - A Guide to Jamaica’s Environmental Laws is written in
tion on the bird’s life history, mi- the Park. It indicated that the ened and endemic birds living
two parts. The first gives basic information of the use and structure of the Jamaican legal system, while gratory patterns and territorial
the second outlines main features of selected environmental laws, their specific functions and penalties. It populations were fairly healthy in the area.
behaviour. This data, when com-
also suggests actions for people who wish to become more involved in environmental law enforcement and stable, but there had been a
piled with the characteristics of the For more information on how
but do not want to take legal action. environment, such as forest type decline in endemic species in
you can organize a bird count,
and land-use patterns, can indicate disturbed areas.
Copies of the book are available from the parish libraries and can be downloaded from JET’s website at you may contact JET at 960-
the habitat requirements of the JCDT also coordinates education 3693 or by e-mail jame-
bird. programmes in the schools and email@example.com
Page 6 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 Page 3
Jamaica’s Important Bird Areas The True Jamaican Blackbird
Jamaica has 47 Important Bird Did you know? cies. This means that it will go history of the Jamaican Black-
Areas (see Figure 1). An Impor- extinct if it is not protected. bird. Scientists are currently
tant Bird Area (IBA) is a key site Not every black bird is a
Main threat: Habitat loss is its seeking funding to protect its
for the conservation of bird spe- a true blackbird! habitat in the Cockpit Country.
cies. Jamaica has ten globally main threat, as its range is re-
threatened species and two-near- stricted to mature rainforests, Source:
threatened endemic species. which are rapidly disappearing in BirdLife International
Jamaica. www. birdlife.org
How are IBAs chosen ? Estimated population: Be-
tween 2,500 and 9,999 and de- Jamaica’s Black Birds
All IBAs have to meet certain clining.
criteria which are set globally. A Endemic
site is designated as an IBA if it
meets the following criteria: • Jamaican Blackbird/
• Contains globally threatened Wildpine Sargeant
species based on the IUCN (Nesopsar nigerrimus)
Red List of Threatened Spe- • Jamaican Crow/Jamming
Figure 1 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for Jamaica. Wildpine Sargeant /Black
cies. Crow (Corvus jamaicensis)
(BirdLife Jamaica 2005) Banana Bird
• Contains range restricted • Jamaican Becard/Rickatee
species: distribution of IBAs already within a protected and the Yellow-billed and Black- (Pachyramphus niger)
50,000 square kilometres or area include the Cockpit Country billed Parrots. Twenty-seven (27) Jamaica has eight species of black
less. in Windsor, Trelawny which is a of Jamaica’s 28* endemic birds, birds but only one is called the
Nature Reserve, and the John 64 of her 67 resident land breed- Jamaican Blackbird (Nesopsar nigerri- Non-endemic
• Contains biome restricted mus). This bird is endemic and can
Crow Mountains and Blue ing birds and almost 40
species: found only within a Mountains. The John Crow Neotropical warblers live in the only be found in Jamaica. • Greater Antillean Grackle/
particular biome, and or Mountains and the Blue Moun- Cockpit Country. Habitat: It lives in mature rain- Cling-cling (Quiscalus niger)
habitat. Distinguishing characteristics: forests where it forages for in-
tains form the Blue and John Conservation projects being con- • Greater Antillean Bullfinch
Crow Mountains National Park It has a pointed bill and short tail.
sects in bromeliads, epiphytes
• Contains congregations of ducted in Cockpit Country It’s voice is a loud wheezy /Black Sparrow (Loxigilla
(BJCMNP). through the Windsor Research and fronds of tree ferns. It is a
significant numbers of birds. ’zwheezoo-whezoo’. It also has a violacea)
Cockpit Country Centre (WRC) include a monthly bromeliad specialist and obtains
Sites with a high concentra- call note which is ‘check’. Unlike
bird banding programme which approximately 60% of its food is • Smooth-billed Ani/Tick
tion of seabirds, shorebirds, The Cockpit Country is Ja- other black birds, it does not feed
began in 2002, and a habitat con- from bromeliads. It is found in bird (Crotophaga ani)
aquatic and migratory birds maica’s largest IBA (see Figure in flocks.
1). It was designated an IBA site servation project at Linton Park the Cockpit Country, Central
based on global population • Turkey vulture/John Crow
because all Jamaica’s threatened Mountain. WRC also acts as a Status: Rare and highly threatened. Mountains and the Blue and
estimates. training centre for persons inter- (Cathartes aura)
birds are found there. It is the It is listed as endangered on the John Crow Mountains.
Some IBAs are located within principal hbitat for threatened ested in learning how to band IUCN (World Conservation Un- Conservation: More research is • Shiny Cowbird
protected areas, but most are endemic birds like the Jamaican birds. (Molothrus bonariensis)
ion) Red List of Threatened Spe- needed on the biology and life
without legal protection. Those Blackbird, Ring-tailed Pigeon, WRC is also working with
Page 4 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 SEP NEWSLETTER March 2006 Page 5
Marine Mammals: The Giants of the Caribbean World Oceans Day
This is the most common threat
Marine mammals are defined as • Odontocete
in Jamaica. Dolphin captive June 8, 2006
facilities house dolphins that
mammals that make the sea
These are the toothed whales were captured in the wild and
their home. However, not all of which also consist of dolphins train them for entertainment
them live at sea, some live in and porpoises. Any cetacean purposes. Their lives are often
rivers and lakes, but they are with teeth, is considered a West Indian Manatee much shorter than in the wild
classified as marine mammals toothed whale. These whales and their days are spent con-
because they are closely related tend to be smaller than mys- In Jamaica, manatees have fined in areas much smaller
to other marine mammals. ticetes and feed on a wide variety been sighted in St. Thomas, than their normal range. Join JET in celebrating World
Humpback Whale feeding of organisms from fish, crabs, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Oceans Day 2006 by learning about
Like all other mammals, marine squid and even other marine Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica’s marine mammals: whales,
mammals are warm-blooded, mammals. Odontocetes which
• Mysticetes Westmoreland, Hanover, St. dolphins and manatees.
breathe air, give birth to live may be found in Jamaica’s waters Mary and Trelawny.
young and feed their young These are the baleen whales. include the Bottlenose dolphin Theme: “Marine Mammals: The
breast milk. These whales do not have teeth (Tursiops truncatus) and Killer Giants of the Caribbean Sea.”
but instead have baleen plates. whale (Orcinus orca). Threats to marine mam- What can you do to protect
Baleen plates act as sieves to Activities:
Sirenians mals in the Caribbean are: marine mammals in
Marine Mammals in Jamaica strain the water they take in when Jamaica? April 19 — May 22
feeding leaving behind only the Whaling
This group consists of manatees
There are 28 species of marine small prey, such as krill, that they This is the primary threat to ◊ Lobby the government to National story and poster competi-
which are found in Jamaica and
mammals that can be found in feed on. Mysticetes that may be marine mammals. Whaling ensure that dolphins are not tions on Caribbean marine mam-
dugongs which are found along
Jamaica. Not all of these spe- found in Jamaica’s waters include occurs in countries such as St. kept in captivity. mals.
the coast of the Western Pacific
cies live in Jamaican waters year the Fin whale (Balaenoptera phy- Vincent and the Grenadines, Categories: Junior (Ages 8 – 12)
and Indian Ocean. Both mana- ◊ Do not visit captive dol-
round. They may only spend salus) and the Humpback Whale Japan and Norway where
tees and dugongs are herbivorous phin facilities in Jamaica.
winters in our warm waters or (Megaptera novaeangliae). The whales are harvested for food Senior (Ages 13 - 16)
Humpback whale is listed on the which means that they only eat and oil. While most countries ◊ Buy only dolphin safe tuna.
may just be passing through en *The schools of the winners will
IUCN (World Conservation Un- plants, such as seagrass. have stopped whaling, whale Look for the label on the can.
route to other countries. also receive a prize*
ion) Red List of Threatened Spe- The only manatee found in Ja- populations are still recover-
Jamaica’s marine mammals fall ◊ Learn more about marine
cies. ing from the whale hunts that The winners will be announced at a
maica is the West Indian Manatee mammals and join organiza-
into two classifications: the ceta- occurred between 200 to 300 press conference on June 1st.
(Trichechus manatus). It is large and tions that are interested in pro-
ceans and sirenians. years ago.
sluggish and has very thick skin. tecting marine mammals. May 18th
Cetaceans Manatees alternate between fresh Fishing
Sources: Presentation on marine mammals in
Cetaceans are defined as any and salt water. The greatest threat to marine
• National Audubon Society. the Caribbean at JET’s Members’
species in the order Cetacea. The West Indian Manatee is mammals is fishing. Many
Guide to Marine Mammals Meeting.
These include whales, dolphins marine mammals are caught
listed on the IUCN (World Con- of the World, Chanticleer
and porpoises. There are over in fishing gear each year and For more information on the ac-
servation Union) Red List of become trapped in nets. Press, 2002
70 species of whales, dolphins tivities for World Oceans Day
and porpoises worldwide. Ceta- Threatened Species. It is esti- Fishermen may also kill them • The National Environment contact JETs office at (tel) 960-
ceans are further divided into mated that there are less than 100 either for bait or because they and Planning Agency 3693 or visit our website at
two types: the mysticetes and Baleen plates manatees in Jamaica’s waters. think they see them as com- www.nrca.org/yourenv/biodiver www.jamentrust.org.
the odontocetes. petition for fish stocks. sity/Species/manatee.htm