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The Jamaican Government is currently taking steps to protect and preserve the island’s wildlife and habitats.

Wildlife in Jamaica incorporates:

• Several species of birds over 20 of which are indigenous
• Marine life including manatees and dolphins
• Plants such as the Blue Mahoe (National Tree) and the Lignum Vitae (National Flower)
• Mammals including the popular mongoose and coney
• Insects like the notable and endangered Giant Swallowtail butterfly

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is the Government entity that manages and protects Jamaica’s biodiversity. In addition, the Forestry Department is responsible for the control and preservation of the country’s forest resources. Guided by the Wildlife Protection and Forestry Acts these entities protect wildlife by:

• Issuing licences and permits required for activities such as the cutting and removal of plants and plant produce from forested areas
• Prohibiting the hunting of animals outside of stipulated hunting seasons
• Establishing wildlife reserves
• Supporting reforestation efforts by providing seedlings for tree planting activities

The entities also drive public education initiatives to encourage Jamaicans to participate in the preservation of the island’s biodiversity. Some of the guidelines to be observed by the public include:

• Do not remove or damage trees within protected areas
• Do not hunt any protected species. These include the Jamaican Iguana, Yellow Snake, the Hawksbill Turtle, and the West Indian Whistling Duck
• Do not hunt animals within designated sanctuaries
• Do not use poison, explosives, or unauthorised traps for fishing
• Do not trap immature fish
• Do not take the eggs of any bird or reptile within protected areas
• Do not dispose of waste in any natural body of water containing live fish

For more information, please contact the:

National Environment and Planning Agency
10-11 Caledonia Avenue
Kingston 5
Phone: (876) 754-7540
Fax: (876) 754-9575

Forestry Department
173 Constant Spring Road
Kingston 8
Tel: (876) 924-2667-8, 1-888-FORESTS
Fax: (876) 924-2626

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