In order to sustain its wildlife population following the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, a moratorium has been placed on the hunting season for 2021 to 2022 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The moratorium extends from October 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022 for reptiles and mammals and October 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022 for Birds.
The Forestry Department says the recent explosive eruption of the La Soufriere volcano had a devastating impact on the forest in the Northern one-third of the island.
This impacted the ecosystem services provided by the forest. One of these services is the provision of habitat for SVG’s protected and partially wildlife including mammals, reptiles and birds.
The explosive eruption which deposited millions of cubic metres of ash on the island would have disrupted the availability of food and shelter for animals.
Observations by staff of the Forestry Department along with the concerns in the communities, especially from hunters, have alerted officials about the status of wildlife and populations of SVG’s hunted wildlife species.
The Forestry Department says observations and information received have shown that there is a reduced number of sightings of wildlife species.
Since the eruptions have stopped the department has seen resilience in the forest but it is still concerned for the status of the wildlife.
The Forestry Department is asking the public to comply with the moratorium or temporary prohibition to ensure that the animals are there for future seasons.
It warns there will be constant monitoring for hunting activities and also for the populations of SVG’s hunted species of mammals, reptiles and birds.