Next stop, Turks and Caicos!

Frequent visitors to the blog will remember my Redonda adventure earlier this year. If you want to catch up, here are a few posts about my trip to Antigua and Barbuda, and from there to the remote island of Redonda. My goal was to collect baseline data so I could figure out how three endemic lizards adapt following a rat extermination effort.

The group responsible for the rat eradication is at it again, this time in Turks and Caicos.  Next week, I’m headed to Pine Cay to see how lizards, specifically Anolis scriptus, will change following the eradication.

I don’t have pictures to share just yet, but here’s a map of the destination:

(by the way, who could possibly give this place a one-star review?!)

The rat eradication team is already there and they have been busy on the island. They’ve been bushwhacking a grid of paths through the brush and undergrowth so they can place their rat traps evenly around the island. So far they’ve cut almost 80 kilometers worth of trail!

As you can maybe tell from the map, this island experience is going to be quite different from Redonda. Pine Cay is inhabited (albeit minimally) so we won’t be camping or rationing solar power for our equipment. The island is (gloriously) flat so I won’t have to be doing nearly so much up and down scrambling over rocks. Pine Cay is also much more forested so we’ll be seeing a lot of anoles in their characteristic habitat – on tree branches, not boulders.

I don’t have pictures of A. scriptus yet but here are a few taken by a collaborator, Professor Graham Reynolds. Alright, I agree, they’re not the most charismatic of lizards, but still, pretty cute!

I’ll post more updates and pictures from the field!

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