Trinidad and Tobago boosts scarlet ibis protection

Trinidad & Tobago

Scarlet ibises in the Caroni Swamp. (Photo courtesy Caroni Bird Sanctuary Tours)

When Trinidad and Tobago declared its independence from Britain in 1962, the scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) was designated one of the island country’s two national birds. Representing Trinidad, the larger of the nation’s two main islands, the scarlet ibis was declared off-limits to hunting after having been targeted in the past for its meat and brilliant red feathers, used to adorn costumes for the islands’ annual carnival. The bird has become popular both as symbol and live attraction. Like the other national bird—the Roufous-vented chachalaca, or cocrico (Ortalis ruficauda), which represents Tobago—the scarlet ibis occupies a place on the country’s coat of arms. It also is pictured on the front of Trinidad and Tobago’s one-dollar bill (TTD$1), and is... [Log in to read more]

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