Six land areas on Grand Cayman have been nominated for protection under the National Conservation Law. Earlier this week we took a look at Barkers, which appears once again on track to become a national park.
Cayman 27 takes a look at the island’s other five nominated lands and the unique flora and fauna they support.
Located just off the point of Barkers is Vidal cay, also known as Barkers cay. It’s a small, sparsely vegetated, rocky mound of crown land home to Cayman’s only breeding colony of bridled terns. The National Conservation Council said it’s also a culturally significant landmark in the North Sound.
Salt Creek Mangroves is a single crown-owned parcel to the north of Salt Creek providing foraging grounds for the Grand Cayman parrot. The council called it an oasis of crown land in a largely natural state, surrounded by artificial landscapes.
The Western Crown Mangrove cays are a series of small crown-owned mangrove cays along the western shore of the North Sound. Frigate birds are known to roost on these cays at night.
14 parcels of crown land comprise the nominated Central Mangrove Wetland area, part of which are already protected because they are in a Marine Park zone. Mangrove crabs, whistling ducks, Cayman parrots, and white-crowned pigeons rely on these areas for habitat.
The Lower Valley Forest nomination covers the Northwest corner of an old-growth forest including two small crown parcels and one private parcel. The council said this area is the only known habitat in Cayman for the white shouldered bat.
The council said protecting the entire forest will be advisable in time, but now the council is proposing immediate protection for this small area it considers under threat.