The Saga of Diego Garcia Continues with:
Division of Ecological Perplexities Presents:
Nature: Red in Tooth and Claw!
APPEAL FOR PHOTOS AND STORIES!
Creatures Of Diego Garcia
I'm ALWAYS looking for photos of the natural environment and its denizens.
Trees. Plants. Bugs. Toads. Reptiles. Birds. You name it!
Send your photos and stories today!
These creatures have been reported by various people, or suspected to exist on Diego Garcia, but little proof exists, at least on the web. Please, anybody, look for and photograph these animals!
- If you can, get a picture of it next to something that we can judge it's size (like next to a beer can, beer bottle, bar coaster, etc.)
- Try to get a clear, color, in-focus photo, with the light on the creature (rather than behind it). Sometimes that's difficult, especially when you're trying to photograph something small, like a gecko or spider.
- Try to avoid violating BIOT law while obtaining these photos. Or at least don't get caught.
- Send me the photo and I'll post them on these "nature pages" and give you all the credit!
Fresh-water turtles. There were two species reported over 100 years ago. Around 1905 a "side-necked turtle" (identified as Pelusios subniger from Africa), and in 1886, a "mud-tortoise" (identified as the terrapin Melanochelystrijugathermalis, from Ceylon/India). These were reported to be common in fresh water marshes by the Plantation and at Pt. Marianne, but then to have gone extinct by 1945. However, in 1970 the personnel at the Met Office (near the plantation) said turtles were still around in marshy areas near the Plantation, but difficult to find in the dry season. So, they could still exist in fresh water swampy areas, or the water-filled borrow pits south of the Donkey Gate. Maybe even in the sewage lagoons. Here's what they should look like:Hawksbill Sea Turtles. Any photos of sea turtles would be great.African Mud Turtle (Pelusios subniger)
Indian Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)
Cats. Preferably a photo of a cat killing a rat. Or visa-versa. According to reports in early 2008, there were only 4 (four) cats left alive on Diego Garcia, the rest were exterminated to keep them from eating nesting sea birds. Of course the result was that there is now an infestation of rats, which also eat eggs.
Rats. Yes, rats. Everybody reports them, but there aren't any pictures! You'd think there would be now that the cats are all dead.
Bats. Insectivorious, fruit or vampire, it doesn't matter! Actually, they've never been reported on the island although they live in the Maldives, and a discovery would be quite a coup.
Earthworms. There are supposedly four species - what do they look like? They can be found in the litter beneath Scaveola and coconut palms.
Sea Snakes. Don't get bit photographing them.
Freshwater Fish. If they are around, they'd be in the swampy areas and borrow pits. The is a HUGE borrow pit (more than 1 mile long) south of the bomb dump, half way between DG-1 and the ocean. Would somebody go check it out for me?
Toads. There are some photos of toads on this site, but I could use some updates. Don't worry, they don't cause warts. Although they could be poisonous, so don't lick them.
Lizards. There are supposedly 2 kinds of geckos (supposedly "everywhere") and the Agama lizard, which lives down by the Beach House). Here's what the Agama lizard supposedly looks like. If you can get a good color picture of one, I'd sure appreciate it.
Insects & Arachnids. Any bug. The creepier the better. I'd especially like some more photos of Rhinoceros Beetles.
Mauritian Bulbul. This is a bird that was once very common on DG, but supposedly "died out" in the 1950s. It's possible they're still around. Here's what they're supposed to look like:
Birds in General. Especially land birds - the common ones there are the mynahs, fodys, cattle egrets, and doves. But if you see ANY bird that isn't common, like large herons, snipes, gallinuls/coots/moorhens, swallows, hawks, crows, etc., try to get any picture you can. These have all been reported to be there 'back in the day' but haven't been officially seen for a long time.
Anything Cool or Interesting. Anything at all!
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This, and everything else I write and every photo I produce is copyrighted by Ted A. Morris, Jr.