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Putting together a project
Scientific research
Rat eradication
Ecological restoration
Captive breeding
So far so good
If the partners patted each other on the back, packed up and went home, all their hard work over the past few years would count for nothing. The Antiguan racer population may have doubled, but it's still one of the world's rarest animals. Just compare it with other famous endangered species:
World population of other famous
endangered species
Blue Whale 11,000
Asian Elephant 35,000
Orang Utan 30,000

What Next?
Here are some of the biggest challenges that the partners still face:

  • Persuade the Government of Antigua & Barbuda to introduce laws that protect the snake and the offshore islands,
  • Establish new racer populations by reintroducing the snake to other islands where it used to live,
  • Continue the ecological restoration of offshore islands, especially the eradication of invasive species such as rats,
  • Try to overcome the difficulties of breeding racers in captivity, in order to establish a successful captive breeding population,
  • Keep a close eye on the health of the wild population of racers,
  • Protect and monitor the lizard population that provides a food supply for the racer,
  • Continue the education campaign and spread the conservation message to an even wider audience,
  • Provide local organisations with the equipment and training they need to carry on the conservation work,
  • Raise the money and support needed to keep the project going in future,
  • Create a network of ecologically restored, protected islands where Antigua's native wildlife can live safely and where visitors can enjoy peace and natural beauty

The Rodents' Return
In early 2001, fresh tooth marks were found on a water bottle. Rat alert! A generous helping of poison foiled the invaders, but their brief re-appearance on Great Bird Island taught everyone a lesson. If the project team lets down its guard for a single moment, the racer will be back where it started! As Lenny Kravitz said: 'It ain't over till it's over'.

©Copyright 2001 The Wildscreen Trust, PO Box 366, Bristol, United Kingdom BS99 2HD
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