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Restoring Dennery Island Underway

THE Dennery Offshore Island Restoration Project is progressing smoothly with several notable achievements to date.

Dennery Island has suffered extensive deterioration due primarily to human activity, and its natural aesthetics and rich biodiversity are now all but fond memories.

Employees of the Forest and Lands Resources Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology recently teamed up with community leaders and volunteers, to advance the restoration works, in order to facilitate the translocation of unique animal species like the Saint Lucian Whiptail, which is only found on Maria Islands in Vieux Fort.

Deputy Chief Forest Officer, Mr. Alfred Prospere, says it is critical to ensure that the conditions on Dennery Island are restored and all non- native threats are removed prior to the translocation.

The presence of the Cane Todd which is an extremely predatory invasive alien specie, threatens translocation plans, as it is not conducive for the survival of the Saint Lucian whiptail.

According to .Prospere, the recent restoration work which focused on blocking an abandoned pond, was an important activity to eliminate the Cane Todd from the island and limiting its possible return. He also indicated that the high spirit of volunteerism from the Dennery residents has been one of the main reasons for the success of the restoration project.

The collobarative efforts of the Forestry Department, the Saint Lucia National Trust, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Fauna & Flora International, led to the commissioning of the construction of a boat landing stage installed at the western tip of the island. This development now allows conservation workers safe access, year-round, for important ecosystem restoration activities on the island.

The aim is to preserve the biodiversity and natural make-up of the island while allowing sustainable access and use to residents and visitors alike.

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