Today, on March 3rd the world celebrates World Wildlife Day, under the theme “Sustaining All Life on Earth”.
This day is an opportunity to celebrate the many and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people.
At the same time, the day is a reminder of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.
Dominica Vibes was at the Morning Star Preschool on Tuesday morning when young learners were introduced to various species of Dominica’s wildlife: the Jacko parrot, the land crab, the Manicou, and a four-foot-long iguana.
Georgette Deravariere is Morning Star Preschool Principal.
“We can actually use our own wildlife and bring it into reality into a child’s view,” she says. “It’s not TV or YouTube or a photo or coloring. It’s no longer on a screen but right there within their reach.”
She says the goal was to bring to reality of what is taught in the classroom.
Dominica boasts a rich biodiversity with a number of species well represented.
Some species are currently listed as critically endangered and are a serious concern. Some of these species also play a critical role in the culture and traditions of Dominica.
Felix Eugene was the Forestry Ranger at the event. He has 30 years of experience in the field and believes the wrongs of past generations
“An activity like this is quite timely because exposing them to wildlife at that age is appropriate. We need to build capacity for conservation. Some of our people don’t see the need to protect the natural resources that we have.”
Eugene adds, “That will spell well for our country.”
At the Morning Star Preschool, Dominica Vibes also met Dominica State College interns attached to the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division.
We spoke with Allyna Bernard, a geography major who intends to pursue wildlife conservation, environmental law and zoology.
She says it is a privilege to see wild animals up close and have them associate them with Dominica as the Nature Isle.
Bernard said, “They won’t be narrow-minded and kill [wild animals] for no reason. They will learn their environment and their place in it and further promote the island.”
The Division throughout the years has embarked on strategic projects aimed at conserving, managing and protecting endangered species found in Dominica.
Ongoing projects include the Parrot Conservation Project, The Mountain Chicken Project and the Sea Turtle Conservation Project.