name='p:domain_verify'/> *: ABACO, BAHAMAS- ENDANGERED PARROTS & HOLE IN THE WALL

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ABACO, BAHAMAS- ENDANGERED PARROTS & HOLE IN THE WALL


Note: I love the Abacos! The calm, gin-colored waters, talcum-powder sand beaches, ocean breezes and laid-back atmosphere make this 120-mile–long chain of islands paradise.  From the high-end, plush golf courses in Treasure Cay to the charming colonial towns on Green Turtle and Elbow Cays, it offers experiences that will make you want to return. It’s also where the beginning episodes of Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean take place.
In 1988, I volunteered to help save the Bahama Parrot in the pine barrens south of Marsh Harbor, the capital. We live-trapped feral cats that were decimating the parrot population. The Bahama Parrot actually nests underground in limestone fissures. There is now a 20,000 acre preserve for them south of Marsh Harbor that's designated a national forest. Here's where the story begins! If you like adventure and hiking, put this on your "Bucket List". It is home to the endangered Bahama Parrot. Whenever I return to Abaco, I rent a car in Marsh Harbor and journey south on the Great Abaco Highway and hike into the preserve with binoculars and camera.  Here is a video of an Abaco Parrot returning to its underground nest:

 
In Episode 1 of Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean, a young CIA agent is slain near the 20,000 parrot preserve in the Abaco National Park, in a most brutal manner. If you enjoy the Caribbean Islands or like spy thrillers, you'll love this online series. Click HERE and episodes 1,2 and 3 will be emailed to you immediately for FREE!

If you like adventure and hiking, here's an idea for your next vacation. Fly to Abaco and tour the Abaco National Park, which is southeast of Marsh Harbor off the Great Abaco Highway, along an unpaved road to Abaco's other Lighthouse at "Hole in the Wall". Unfortunately, hurricane Sandy devastated the lighthouse, but the journey there is still worth it. Click HERE to find out more about the "lighthouse that was" and the venture to its location of where it used to be. The unpaved road to this remote lighthouse is forbidden by rental car companies, but there's a site to give you the inside scoop of getting to it- click HERE. Please read through this site thoroughly before venturing to see the Abaco Parrot and Hole in the Wall lighthouse! It is 15 miles from the nearest paved road; i.e., the Great Abaco Highway. To hike it would be a long venture, but read through the site and perhaps drive part way and hike the rest...you decide! No doubt that touring the Abaco National Park and journeying to "Hole in the Wall" would make for an adventure all in itself.  


There are less than 3,000 Bahama Parrots left and they're protected by the Wild Bird (Protection) Act. Forget about harming or trying to capture them- the Fox Hill prison in Nassau is not a fun place to be! Because of their ground-nesting behavior, they are vulnerable to predation by feral cats, wild boars, crabs and snakes. Heavy rains during the nesting period can flood parrot nest holes, killing young chicks.

The photo below was taken by Ricky Johnson. It shows how  "Hole in the Wall" got its name. I hope you enjoy your adventuresome journey to see Abaco Island, explore the endangered Abaco Parrot sanctuary in the Abaco National Park, and make it to "Hole in the Wall"! Please contact me if you've been to this exciting place or if you plan to go. I'd enjoy hearing from you!


Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy thriller series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". He welcomes comments and story ideas. Contact him and leave a message!