The AWNC is a “Not-for-Profit” Trust established in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird-watchers to “protect part of the Arima Valley in a natural state and to create a conservation and study area for the protection of wildlife and for the enjoyment of all.” It was one of the first nature centres to be established in the Caribbean.
Comprising nearly 1,500 acres of mainly forested land in the Arima and Aripo Valleys of the Northern Range, the AWNC’s properties will be retained under forest cover in perpetuity, to protect the community watershed and provide important wildlife habitat.
The Centre’s main facilities are located on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation, previously known as the Spring Hill Estate. This estate has now been partly reclaimed by secondary forest, surrounded by impressive rainforest, where some original climax forest on the steeper slopes have a canopy of 100-150 feet. The whole effect is one of being deep in tropical rainforest.
Martyn Kenefick, one of Trinidad’s eminent birders, talks about this year’s event at the Asa Wright Verandah.
“The rules of the event state that we remain within a 5 metre radius for a whole day and document every bird species seen or heard. Let’s be honest, we bent the rules just a little – just by a few metres when stiffness of limb or mind-numbing boredom took over – but it was always within the spirit of the game and within “our half” of the balcony.”
Catch up on all of the Centre’s programs and outreach activities in each new issue of The Bellbird, the official newsletter of the Asa Wright Nature Centre. Issues can be dowloaded in PDF format and can be read in either your browser or on your desktop.top