Earth Day Clean-Up and Nature Survey at Fort Ashby on Nevis

(Some of the IDs may be need to be refined and corrected.)
On Earth Day I recorded 80 species of organisms at Fort Ashby, near the coast in the Cotton Ground region of Nevis.

Fort Ashby is a piece of land surrounding a coastal fort built in 1701. The fort was situated near what was, in the 1600s, the original capital of Nevis, Jamestown. The fort is semi-circular, and the outer wall, which faces towards the sea, features four cannon.
Due to coastal build-up of sand, the fort is now 100 yards back from the edge of the sea and there is a lagoon pond which stretches the full width of the piece of land that is bordered on both sides by private property. The pond used to have a wooden bridge over it, but now the bridge has fallen apart and therefore currently there is no direct access to the beach area from Fort Ashby.

At some point in recent times, one of the walls of the fort was extended upwards, and the structure was roofed in order to convert it into a bar-restaurant. Subsequently, when the lease expired, the restaurant was abandoned, along with three more recent small residences and at least one other small building.

The entire area was not maintained, and so in recent years it became extremely overgrown, and almost impenetrable. It was also occasionally misused for illegal dumping.

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is now in the process of reclaiming the site and improving it, so that it can become a natural, historical, and educational attraction for both locals and tourists. They have been awarded a grant to help enable this process,

A Nevis friend of mine, Miriam Knorr of NHCS, asked me if I would volunteer at Fort Ashby on Earth Day. Although the rest of the NHCS team were doing physical clean-up of the site, Miriam asked me if I would use iNaturalist to record and photograph the nature of the area. I spent nearly four hours there in the morning, making 160 nature observations of what appear to be 80 species. The seven other NHCS volunteers collected and carried out abandoned trash (two entire truckloads) and cut down a vast amount of invasive vegetation, which will be burned.

My iNat lists and photos will eventually be used to create such things as a leaflet and signage, once the Fort Ashby site is fully restored and ready for visitors.

GARDEN PLANTS, brought in and planted deliberately by humans (7 species recorded)

African Baobab
Common Lantana
Glory-bower, Red Bleeding Heart Vine
Crinum -- Swamp Lilies
Fan Palms, Coryphoideae
Mother-in-law's Tongue

All from the Scrubland area:

WILD TREES AND BUSHES (8 species recorded)

White Leadtree
Sea Almond
Indian Mango
Noni (seedling inside the fort)
Clammy Cherry
Shrubby Indigo
Sandbox Tree

SOFT PLANTS WILD -- includes wildflowers and weeds (27 species recorded)

Coral Bells aka Coralita
Bush Morning Glory
Painted Spurge
Genus Lagascea
Asthma Plant
Tridax Daisy
Castor Bean
Blue Porterweed
Gale of the Wind
Porknut thorn bush
Whitemouth Dayflower
Browne's Blechum
Common Fanpetals
Lion's Ear
Brazilian Bachelor's Button
Caesar Weed
Erect Spiderling
LIttle Ironweed
Lobed Croton
Asian Spiderflower
Pyramid Flower
Graceful Spurge
Sacramento Bur
Common Fan petals
Devils Horsewhip

Species found on or inside of, the Fort structure itself (8 species recorded)
Bitter Panicgrass
Brown's Sword Fern
A Ficus
Spiny Fiddlewood
Noni seedling
Siam Weed, Chromolaena odorata
Spiny Fiddlewood
Monarch Fern

Plants growing near the lagoon pond (3 species recorded)

Tree of Little Stars
Beach Naupaka

FUNGI AND LICHENS (4 species recorded)
Common Lichens
Shelf Fungi
Ochre Spreading Tooth

ANIMALS OF EVERY KIND........................................................
MAMMALS, REPTILES, BIRDS (Only three species recorded so far)

Green Heron -- no photo possible

Domestic Cow -- a cow pat left behind
Schwartz' Anole
Butterflies (5 species recorded)

Cloudless Sulphur
Cramer's Scrub-Hairstreak
Tropical Checkered Skipper
White Peacock
Cassius Blue

Other insects (9 species recorded)
Band-winged Dragonlet, a dragonfly
Rambur's Forktail , a damselfly
Longhorn Crazy Ant
Liriomyza a leafminer fly mining in a Bougainvillea leaf
A leafminer in the Lantana leaves
A leafminer in Nodeweed leaves
A leafminer in leaves of Sacramento Burr
Pit-trapping Ant-Lions
Australian Cockroach

Bees and wasps (2 species recorded)
Western Honey Bee
Common on the Coralita
Stictia signata a species of sand wasp
Beetles (1 species recorded)
Beetle larva burrows in dead wood

Other arthropods (4 species recorded)
Blue Land Crab
Spinycbacked Orbweaver
Gall and Rust Mites
Eriophyes pluchea mites on leaves of Cure-for-all


Carrying an abandoned Fridge out of the woodland took 6 people.

Metal debris to be removed

An abandoned wheel

One of the houses

Posted on 24 de abril de 2022 by susanhewitt susanhewitt


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