Petition Wants to Protect Rabbit, Red Head Islands

Protect Rabbit, Red Head IslandsAntigua St. John's - The Antigua Conservation Society is gathering signatures on a petition that seeks to preserve several of Antigua & Barbuda’s tiny offshore islands, and protect them from development by outside interests.

The petition, which can be found online at change.org, had 520 signatures as of Thursday night, and needed 480 more.

The move reportedly has the support of Tourism Minister John Maginley, whose recent posts on Twitter were republished on change.org as well.

Maginley’s posts said he agreed with the plan, and he would take the matter to Parliament.

The full petition states:

What makes the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda so unique is their offshore islands. There are very few places in the Caribbean that still have undeveloped natural wonders, and the islands of the North Sound in Antigua need to be protected.

Chinese investors are in the process of purchasing a group of islands formerly owned by Dato Tan and then by Alan Stanford. These include Guiana Island, Rabbit Island, Exchange Island, Hells Gate, Red Head and several others.

Rabbit and Red Head Islands are not only home to the famous and critically endangered Antigua Racer Snake, but they are also nesting habitats for our critically endangered West Indian Tree Duck, also known as whistling duck, and many other key species like the brown pelican, noddy and bridled terns.

In fact, these two little islands are the only place, other than a tiny area in Five Islands Harbour, where pelicans nest. Within the North Sound, there are 22 small islands, and pelicans only nest on Read Head and Rabbit.

With this in mind, we are urging the government of Antigua and Barbuda to protect these critical habitats from development, by making them reserves within The North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA).

If you think these natural wonders should be protected for the multitude of endangered migratory and indigenous species like nesting pelicans, then please sign this petition. We owe it to our children, our children’s children and all future generations.

The petition can be found here

Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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