Crab Poachers Cause Deaths of Rare Birds in Barbados – Intruders Caught On Video at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

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File Photo courtesy "" - CLICK FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Earlier this week intruders were caught on tape after killing crabs and terrorizing rare bird species at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, causing the death of another bird inside one of the Aviaries.

One of the three surviving spoonbill chicks in the Marshland Aviary died after breaking its neck while evading the trespassers. The circumstances of death were similar to another incident when an endangered St. Vincent parrot died in March due to an intruder who had assaulted the bird in the middle of the night.

Electronic cameras at the Sanctuary revealed a group of six people on Sunday night and more on Monday night carrying bags of crabs fleeing over the main gate. There was evidence of large-scale poaching, with dismembered crabs scattered where the poachers had been.

The illegal poaching combined with the terrorizing of rare bird species at the Sanctuary have caused severe stress in the remaining bird population which is part of a formal captive breeding programme in partnership with the St. Vincent Government.

The Sanctuary and the surrounding Graeme Hall area is recognized as an international wetland of critical importance and a RAMSAR site under the Convention ion on Wetlands treaty.

No arrests have been made yet. The incidents and the security video tapes are being investigated.

{Bajan Reporter’s FYI – Don’t you need answers as to why it’s taking so long for ANYTHING to happen? E-Mail officials directly! Barbados’ Environment Minister is Dennis Lowe;, while the Permanent Secretary is Lionel Weekes;}

5 Responses

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  1. It’s a struggle to explain to people all the time that the Sanctuary relies on wildlife being ALIVE for its business model. Even now, with the Sanctuary open on a limited basis for special events.

    It is fair to say that the theft of crabs from GHNS is a burglary, just like any other business that has inventory stolen.

  2. Isn’t it worse that endangered species are dead – PERIOD? I am more concerned at the loss of life rather than ‘How does this affect business?‘ I presume the commentator in this instance hails from GHNS’ Accounts Dept?

  3. Of course, Ian, you are right. We were blinded by budget planning. Keep in mind that not a single dollar has come from a single person or NGO in Barbados to help manage the Barbados-based captive breeding programme. Instead, we’re forced to spend more on security to protect the poor birds from those in this country who would cause them harm. The “business model” of the Sanctuary seems to be the only enabler of life in this instance. Forgive us.

    Speaking of money and good environmental deeds, you should talk with Wayne Burke, a true Barbadian environmental hero who is protecting and preserving the Woodbourne migratory bird wetland habitat. He is doing so at great personal cost – money is very tight, he is very short of funds as the funding from his Birdlife International sponsors has run out, and there is little or no financial support from donors in Barbados. We’ll send you some material.



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