Les Fruits de Mer to host Endemic Animal festival

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A report from The Daily Herald.

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Antillean Crested hummingbird. All the hummingbirds that live on St. Martin are species found only in the Caribbean.

This spring, groups throughout the Caribbean will be celebrating the birds that are only found here. Some 40 events on 14 islands are already on the schedule for this year’s Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF).

More than 80,000 Caribbean residents, friends and visitors will join in the activities, led by Birds Caribbean. Earth day, April 22, marked the beginning of the festival, which continues to May 22 – the International Day for Biological Diversity.

On St. Martin, the Les Fruits de Mer association hosts its annual Endemic Animal Festival as part of CEBF. This year, the free festival will be held from 9:00am to noon on Sunday, May 20. It will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House, a museum that the association is relaunching in French Quarter. Although the museum itself is still under development, the event will include many fun activities and a chance to see this historic house.

2018 was designated “Year of the Bird” by National Geographic Society to commemorate 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This is a powerful document that has protected birds for generations. The 2018 CEBF theme is, “Year of the Bird.”

In the 17-year history of CEBF, Birds Caribbean and its enthusiastic partners across the region have always found fun and creative ways to connect people to our Caribbean endemic birds.

The festival seeks to inspire people of all ages and walks of life to conserve our birds and our natural environment. This is even more critical in the wake of 2017’s devastating hurricanes. The recovery and the resilience of our bird populations must also be recognized in the coming month.

Why is CEBF important? Of the 565 species of birds in our region, 173 are unique to us. They are a unique part of the region’s natural heritage. CEBF is also an expression of who we are and how we connect with the environment. It brings people together. Learning about our birds takes place in a diverse, harmonious setting. In previous years, church services, radio and television interviews, street parades, fairs, information booths, and drama and art competitions have all formed part of CEBF’s celebrations.

Visit birdscaribbean.org or find Birds Caribbean on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information about CEBF, to find events in your area, and see updates throughout the month. To learn more about the Endemic Animal Festival, visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

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