Mobile Frames No Frames Frames
Where the sea and shore meet,
we often find beaches, but other forms of interaction
occur in the tropics--such as mangroves. Mangroves are
beneficial both as a filter between land and sea
and as a nursery habitat for a wide
range of living things.
Some of the BVI's remaining mangroves can be found at Frenchman's
Cay in a small stand near the bridge
to Tortola, by the bridge to Beef Island
as seen above, at Sea Cows Bay, on the
southeastern shore of Tortola at Paraquita Bay
and Bar Bay inlet (the latter to be
designated as a National Parks Trust) and at various salt
ponds throughout the BVI.
Mangroves provide shelter in storms
to various wading birds such as the flamingos and little
blue herons. Sometimes seen by snorkeling, mangroves are
usually viewed by kayak, small rowing dingy or even a
sailboat dingy. See Those Amazing Mangroves.
Good viewing from shore can be had at the Biras Creek trail to
the Bitter End and at the road to Soper's
Hole Wharf, where the "thin film" or layer
presents the sculptural roots and branches to great
advantage. Branches often reach down to become roots. A
good instance of the mangrove being used as an ornamental
plant is at the Bitter End.
Mangrove Oyster. Small
with a long purple shell, this oyster is found in
brackish water in clusters on the prop roots of the red
mangrove as well as pilings and rocks. Sought by starfish
as well as some birds, the mangrove oyster is also
considered a delicacy by humans.
are usually found in open water near the surface, except
the Upsidedown Jellyfish which is found in shallow water
near mangroves. The upsidedown position occurs only when
resting, not swimming (to Jellyfish).
Land Crabs. Seen where the mangroves have created land,
still only a foot or so above sea level, the burrow of
the land crab reaches down to the water table, since this
crab needs access to water. Up to four inches across
their brownish-grey shell, the land crab, which can
sometimes be seen scuttling across roads on moonlit
nights, is a delicacy
in the islands. Look for burrows and a low area and a
surrounding area clear of vegetation, since these crabs
Salt ponds are found throughout the BVI,
including the famous Salt Island
ponds where salt is still extracted as well as Tortola's
Bay and Long Bay East ponds and the very extensive
ponds on Anegada.
of the Flamingos on Anegada and A
Natural History Guide to Guana Island (under
Flamingo). Here is a picture of flamingos
creates exquisite copper wall sculptures.
|Over 3' tall with a wingspan of 7', the Great
Blue Heron stands motionless when fishing. This slate-blue
wading bird also eats crabs, crayfish,
lizards and mice. This elegant wader may be
spotted throughout the islands.
Little Blue Heron.
A frequent visitor of salt ponds where it nests in the
mangroves, this elegant
info) has a very fast jab for catching fish, crabs,
lizards and insects. The slate-grey mother can be seen
paired with its snow white young before its first
Sea and Shore