Caribbean Extinction ‘Hotspots’ Identified

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. Dec. 15, 2005: A Jamaican ground iguana, or Cyclura collie, found in the Hellshire Hills of St Catherine, and Haiti’s Eleutherodactylus frog, found in the Massif de la Hotte region, are the lone two Caribbean countries to make the world’s extinction hot spots list.

The list, prepared by conservationists of the newly formed Alliance for Zero Extinction, says that urgent action is needed to safeguard these sites to prevent the species being lost.

“All these are spots where extinction is likely to strike next if we don’t do anything,” said Taylor Ricketts, director of science for the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Jamaica and Haiti, about 593 other sites were identified  as priority hot spots, which are inhabited by 794 species that are in danger.

Other creatures in imminent danger, according to the report, include whooping cranes on a Texas tidal flat, a type of rabbit in a Mexican volcano, penguins in the Galápagos Islands and a species of pine tree in Australia. –