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JIS News

In the effort to protect wild life in the parish, the Portland Environment Protection Association (PEPA), has erected a number of bird protection signs to identify bird sanctuaries and to advise the public of the legal restrictions governing the bird shooting season, which usually begins in August.
The placing of the signs has come as a follow-up to the National Environment and Planning Agency’s (NEPA) recent designation of a wild life preserve from Folly in Port Antonio to Fairy Hill in the Eastern section of the parish, extending inland to the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Parks.
Michael Donnegan, Executive Director of PEPA told JIS News that so far, 28 signs have been placed at strategic locations, and pointed out that the agency planned to erect another 32 signs to ensure that the information is taken to as many persons in the parish as possible.
He explained that the signs formed part of PEPA’s Bio-diversity Enhancement programme, which is aimed at educating the public about the need to conserve Portland’s natural resources. Mr. Donnegan pointed out that the parish’s bird-life was threatened by illegal hunting and loss of habitat.
Mr. Donnegan said parents, teachers and community members were being encouraged to confiscate slingshots and to discourage young persons who might be tempted to kill birds for recreation.
He pointed out that the signs promoting wild life protection were protected under the law, and persons should not remove, deface or damage them.
The Executive Director said protection of bird-life was particularly important at this time, following the devastation of birds and their habitats by hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Emily.