Excerpt from BBC
There are no resorts, no beaches, no amenities, and its contribution to the national GDP is practically zero. Yet the mile-long rocky isle of Redonda in the Caribbean Sea is deemed one of the most valuable spots in the region.
Virtually untouched by humans for centuries, Antigua and Barbuda’s lesser-known third island has long been a key nesting site for migrating birds from across the world and home to wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.
When environmentalists first touted the idea of entirely removing thousands of invasive black rats and a herd of feral goats threatening this wildlife, it seemed ambitious at best.
Fast forward five years and uninhabited Redonda’s once barren terrain is today a fertile eco haven, teeming with fresh new vegetation while populations of birds and endemic lizards have soared.
Work began in 2016 but the project’s real success was only revealed recently when conservationists made their first trip back in 18 months.
Shanna Challenger, of the country’s Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) which undertook the work alongside the government and international agencies, says it was an “emotional moment”.
“It was such a stark contrast from the first time I saw Redonda in 2016 when it was literally crumbling into the sea,” she recalls.
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