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Putting together a project
Scientific research
Rat eradication
Ecological restoration
Captive breeding
Sa far so good
As well as studying the Antiguan racer itself, scientists have also carried out research on other wildlife, and on the human visitors to the offshore islands.

Lizards, the main prey of the Antiguan racer, are vital to the snake's survival. A team from Black Hills State University (see Heroes) is leading a five-year research programme on some of Antigua's offshore islands, to find out more about the lizard population. The research is helping to show whether lizard numbers increase, and by how much, once rats and mongooses have been removed, and to identify which islands could support a new colony of snakes (see Close Encounters with Lizard Counters).


Spotted anoles often climb
trees to escape the racer

The project partners have also been studying offshore island biodiversity (in other words, how many different kinds of living creature are found there). Island Resources Foundation has focused attention on the nesting birds of Great Bird Island, particularly red-billed tropicbirds and West Indian whistling ducks. The project is helping local students to study other wildlife, including the rare hawksbill turtle, queen conch and spiny lobster.


Red-billed tropicbird on its nest

The Human Factor
People use the offshore islands and the surrounding waters for a variety of reasons. The Environmental Awareness Group is studying the behaviour and attitudes of local and overseas visitors. Donald Anthonyson, an EAG council member, is conducting a survey of the North Sound fishermen to find out how they use the offshore islands and reefs. The results will help the team to plan the best ways of working with all these groups in future (see Spreading The Word).

For details of all the findings, click on So Far So Good.


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