NEW! Follow those birds! From 2013-2015, JVDPS has been working on a tracking study, placing GPS and satellite tags on Magnificent frigatebirds to help understand foraging patters (a key to understanding marine ecosystem health) . In February 2015 we just put some new devices on four birds you can track their movement here: http://www.societe.org.gg/
In April 2014, we attached Satellite tags via backpacks on 3 frigatebirds, which tracks their long-term movement. You can folllow those birds here: http://www.atlanticseabirds.org/mafr-maps. Read more about this project in the Oct/Nov issue of “BVI Welcome” Magazine.
Research & Monitoring is a critical component in identifying threats to species and habitats and helping to identify necessary conservation action.
Seabird Surveys & Monitoring: Jost Van Dyke island is located between two globally important seabird areas, providing a strategic location for launching seabird conservation activities. Seabirds are an important, albeit often overlooked part of the marine ecosystem. Monitoring seabirds can be an effective tool for monitoring fisheries and marine ecosystem health. Current research focuses on restoring nesting habitat, understanding threats to species and GPS & Satellite tracking frigatebirds and brown boobies. Maps of satellite-tracked birds are updated every 2-3 days and can be viewed by the general public on-line.
In April 2015, we are also pleased to announce the launch of our UK- Darwin Initiative-funded project “BVI Seabird Recovery Planning Programme.” This programme will attempt to collect data on all of the BVI’s breeding seabirds and also examine threats at their breeding sites and put plans into place to help restore populations. Email us to learn how you can help!
Wetlands Monitoring: Launched in 2011, JVDPS has designed and implemented a waterbird census for the island of Jost Van Dyke, as part of a regional monitoring programme spear-headed by Birds Caribbean. JVDPS completes wetland surveys 3 times each year of all island wetland areas. Data is stored online at ebird.org and provided to government agencies.
Invasive Species Control: JVDPS is involved in post-eradication phase monitoring at Sandy Cay Habitat Management, where the Black Rat was successfully removed in 2002. JVDPS is working with local agencies on other invasive species control projects at specific sites.
Amphibians in Decline/Endangered Species Recovery: (New) Amphibians are often regarded as indicator species for overall environmental health. In recent years, amphibian species numbers’ have been in significant decline due to habitat loss, climate change, disease and invasive species. JVD is home to 5 frog species, including the endangered Virgin Islands Bo-Peep. This frog has an extremely fragmented habitat, with the VI encompassing the entirety of its global range. The frog is ‘locally extinct’ on other islands in the V.I. In both 2009 (as part of the Environmental Profile) and again in 2013, we confirmed presence of this species on JVD. Stay tuned for updates to this section in 2014/2015- we just received a small grant and are excited about our new partners – the Amphibian Survival Alliance.
Environmental Profile of Jost van Dyke: Funded by the UK Overseas Territories Environment Programme, production of the Environmental Profile was completed as part of a larger project in partnership with the Islands Resources Foundation (A DC-based NGO that was initially founded in the Virgin Islands in the 1970s). The Environmental Profile provides a resource characterization and synthesis of the state of the environment. The document has been used by JVDPS to identify follow-up projects and activities, guiding the Society’s activities.