Oh, cute Mr Mongoose, hard to catch. The Indian Mongoose was introduced to Jamaica in 1872 to kill the rats. But it has contributed to possible extinction of two of Jamaica’s endemic ground nesting birds – the Jamaica Petrel (Pterodroma caribbaea) and Jamaican Paruraque (Siphonorhis americana) – as well as the Giant Galliwasp (Celestrus occiduus), and a snake, the Black Racer (Alsophis ater). It is also a threat to the endemic Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei). OH DEAR!
The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was introduced to Portland as tourist attractions at the Somerset Falls. Some escaped in the 1980 Allen and 1988 Gilbert hurricanes. The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park nearby contains about 923 endemic species of vascular plants and serves as an important watershed that is vital for the water supply to the eastern end of the island, including Kingston. There is anxiety that the deer do not wander in that area…
Deer have created havoc around Mount Pleasant, Shrewsbury, Content, Little Spring Garden, Swift River and Eden Wood. Farmers reported deer in their crops at dusk and dawn. But they are fighting back. Deer meat goes for about JS$400 dollars per pound. Poor Bambi!
Mr Camel recently re-entered Jamaica as tourist attraction at the Prospect Estate in St Mary. In the 1600s, camels were brought to Jamaica from the Canary Islands to carry sugar and rum to the market.
But the “ships of the desert” either rebelled against slavery or the roads were much too rocky for their hoofs and hills too steep. Seems that nature had designed them only for extensive and level sandy deserts. The poor docile animals died out then. We are yet to see whether camels on the Prospect Estate will create havoc on the island.