Wildlife in T&T faces numerous unnecessary pressures throughout the year: Environmental degradation and pollution, deforestation, a lengthy open hunting season, illegal poaching and especially during this dry season, forest fires.
The forest fire season begins on December 1 and ends on June 30. With hundreds of fires being reported annually, it means our local fauna, including red brocket deer, agouti, lappe, nine-banded armadillo, snakes, lizards and hundreds of species of birds die as flames ravage their delicate forest ecosystems. These fires negatively affect the already dwindling wildlife populations.
This brings us to the question–when will the survivors of these fires and their burnt-out habitats ever have time to recover? A seven-month fire season leaves hardly any room for animals to find refuge especially when the situation is made worse with a five-month open hunting season. This prolonged hunting season, with thousands of hunting permits being issued annually, adds additional pressure to our wildlife, especially game animals.
When will the pressure end for these helpless creatures? Should the hunting season be curtailed or should it be banned totally to allow these defenseless species a chance to breed and multiply? Any right-thinking individual will realise that we must give our animals a respite from all these ills bombarding them. Maybe we will only miss the water when the well runs dry.