Monday, December 15, 2008
The nation of
has a very interesting and distinct ecological makeup. Keeping in mind that the country is actually made up of two larger islands and an unusually large collection of smaller ones, you will understand why it’s fascinating and different environments come together into something so beautifully unique in the Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean. Let’s start with a geographical description of the country first to give you a better idea as to why the natural side of the county is so fascinating. Firstly the two main islands; Antigua and Barbuda sit on the same continental shelf with about 26 miles of shallow waters connecting them. On either sides of the islands and their connecting shelf the water drops off into abyss like depths that contain a massive variety of life. Many people forget about Redonda which is a small island about 30 miles to our west which is also part of the county. It sits on its own continental shelf and makes up the massive triangular territorial and ecological zone connecting Antigua Barbuda and Redonda. The three islands are as different as each other in almost every aspect with Antigua being made up from limestone and volcanic rock with a slice of clay between them. Having both limestone and volcanic rocks on the same island is unusual and helps give it unique habitats. Barbuda is totally made up of limestone rocks with nothing above 38 meters above sea level on the island. Caves beaches and mangrove habitats provide a wealth of ecology that has yet to be properly documented. Redonda is the most unusual in terms of its geographic makeup and is simply a huge volcanic mass of rocks pushing up from the sea. With its steep rocky cliffs and high top it supports a very interesting variety of plants and animals with its bird life being the most impressive.