Caicos Pine Revitalization Program

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Pine Cay is Site to Monitoring Program to Protect the Caicos Pine

The Meridian Club on Pine Cay is an ideal vacation destination for travelers searching for a sliver of peace and quiet in the midst of the more tourist-oriented Caribbean islands. Just 90-minutes from Miami this haven offers miles of isolated beaches, brilliant blue seas, and an exciting abundance of flora and fauna to explore. There are over 100 plant varieties identified on Pine Cay, and among them is the endangered Caicos Pine.

The Meridian Club has been at the forefront of the rescue and restoration efforts of the Caicos Pine (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis) since the beginning of the Caicos Pine Revitalization Program, and has been home to a permanent monitoring station since 2010.

The culprit: the pine tortoise scale. Native to the US where winter weather keeps their devastating effects under control, these insects have invaded the local pine tree population with abandon. The monitoring and revitalization studies which are taking place on Middle Caicos, North Caicos and Pine Cay are being conducted in two ways, with pine trees being monitored in situ, and seedlings – many harvested from Pine Cay pines – being grown in ex situ nurseries.

The Club has hosted scientists from Kew Gardens, along with representatives of the Turks and Caicos National Trust and Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs on Pine Cay to study the infestation and the apparent resistance of the pines on the Cay to the scale insect.

The Meridian Club invites you to read the blog article by Michele Sanchez titled, “Rescuing the threatened Caicos pine in the Turks and Caicos Islands” and follow the Caicos Pine Recovery Project Facebook page

Here on Pine Cay, we are proud to be aligned with the scientists and environmental agencies that play an important part in the management and protection of our precious pine forests. Much like our work to rebalance the delicate, fresh water lens on Pine Cay, we believe our pine forests represent an important part of the island’s natural environment – one that must be protected for future generations to enjoy.