Illegal visits to the Maria Islands Nature Reserve

Illegal visits to the Maria Islands Nature Reserve

Maria Islands Nature Reserve a protected area belonging to the Saint Lucia National Trust. One large and taller island and a second very small islet are set in blue seas with white waves

The Maria Islands Nature Reserve

It has been brought to the attention of the Saint Lucia National Trust, that unauthorised visits are being made to the Maria islands, with garbage and human excrement being left behind. These islands are a protected nature reserve and are home to endangered and endemic species including, the Saint Lucia Whiptail lizard and Saint Lucia Racer.  The latter being recognized as the world’s rarest snake, with an estimated population of only twenty (20) individuals.

Due to the critically endangered status of the species on these islets, strict bio-security controls are in effect and visits to the Maria Islands are only authorised through the National Trust. Further, the discarding of garbage, including glass bottles, not only creates bio-security hazards, but could lead to fires on these islets and the possible extinction of these species.

A Saint Lucia Racer, critically endangered, is held by a National Trust Ranger

photo credit: Saphira Hunte, Saint Lucia National Trust

Anyone found on the Maria Islands without the permission of the National Trust shall be committing an illegal act under the Wildlife Protection Act, No. 9 of 1980 and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months.

The Trust is appreciative of the public interest in visiting the Maria Islands Nature Reserve, however, the islets are presently closed to visitation during the breeding season of some of these species. Tours to the islets will resume in 2024.

The Saint Lucia Whiptail was only found on the Maria Islands Nature Reserve. WIth a blue tail, yellow body with black and white markings, the whiptail has the colours of Saint Lucia's National Flag

The Saint Lucia Whiptail on Maria Islands

Please contact the Trust’s Southern Office for further information or to report illegal access to the Maria Islands. See contact information below.

The Saint Lucia National Trust thanks the Public of its continued assistance and support in ensuring that the Maria Islands Nature Reserve remains a National Treasure that all Saint Lucians can be proud of for generations to come.

Saint Lucia National Trust                             

Southern Office

Mr. Augustine Dominique
Heritage Conservation Manager
Tel. 454-5014
E-mail – conservationmgr@slunatrust.org

 

Saint Lucia National Trust                             
Head Office
Tel 452-5005
E-mail – info@slunatrust.org;