For the sake of a lizard | Green

The gem-like colours of the tiny Union Island gecko — a lizard found only on one small island in the Grenadines — are why it’s so highly coveted by the exotic pet trade. As Erline Andrews reports, hopes for the endangered gecko’s survival depend on new conservation efforts, and a push for eco-tourism

Photo by Matthijs Kuijpers/Alamy Stock Photo

The climate change countdown | Green

For decades, climate scientists have warned us about the consequences of global warming — and small island states like those in the Caribbean are especially vulnerable. 2017’s Hurricane Maria was just a taste of what the coming decades will bring, reports Erline Andrews, unless significant resources get directed to efforts to protect threatened coastlines and reefs

Image by lavizzara/Shutterstock.com

Get a kick | On this day

Kick ’Em Jenny sounds like a comic name, but for the scientists who study this underwater volcano, first recorded eighty years ago, it’s no laughing matter. The Caribbean was shaped by its volcanoes, says James Ferguson, which created our mountainous island landscapes — but can also wreak havoc

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Kairi wild | Offtrack

Trinidad may be an industrial powerhouse, but it’s also home to wildnerness areas with a rich biodiversity, from forested mountains to mangrove wetlands. Photographers Jason Audain and Brendan Delzin share images and stories capturing the island’s wild beauty

Getting close to nature doesn’t always mean hiking to somewhere remote: in the very heart of Port of Spain, the Botanical Gardens are an oasis for wildlife, like this iridescent Euglossa orchid bee. “It was jumping from flower to flower,” says Jason Audain, “and then it settled and posed for me. I got lucky with this photo opportunity. I was really going to the gardens to capture a praying mantis.”. Photo by Jason Audain

The parrotfish dilemma | Green

Among the most colourful marine species, parrotfish play a key role in keeping reefs and beaches healthy. They are also delicious, making fishing bans to protect them unpopular. Without these protections, learns Erline Andrews, they may be overfished into extinction

Photo by Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock.com

Ayurveda: finding the balance | Be well

Practised for millennia in the Indian subcontinent, traditional ayurvedic medicine, with its focus on achieving both physical and spiritual balance, was brought to the Caribbean in the nineteenth century — and recently has been more widely adopted as a form of “alternative medicine.” Cate Young learns more, and talks to two practitioners who say ayurveda has helped them bring their lives and health into equilibrium

Photo by frank60/Shutterstock.com

The secret life of sunscreen | Green

The blazing rays of the tropical sun can take a heavy toll on your skin — which is why most beachgoers and swimmers in the Caribbean slather on a layer of protective sunscreen before they disrobe. But the very chemicals that protect human skin can be toxic for corals — and the Caribbean’s reefs pay the price. Erline Andrews investigates

Photo by photopixel/Shutterstock.com

Jaws of life | Green

Pop culture has given sharks an undeservedly scary reputation. What’s truly frightening, reports Erline Andrews, is a sea without sharks, vital for a healthy marine ecosystem. And after decades of neglect, the countries of the Caribbean are finally waking up to the importance of shark conservation — for the environment, but also for their economies

Photo by Fiona Ayerst/Shutterstock.com

Clearing the trail | Escape

Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail is the jewel in the Nature Isle’s ecotourism crown. 2017’s Hurricane Maria devastated the trail — along with the rest of Dominica — but now an unusual breed of “voluntourists” are helping restore it. Paul Crask meets two of them

The Boeri Lake Trail in the high montane forest of Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park is one of several iconic hiking routes now clear and recovering. Photo by Paul Crask

Next stop: space | Discover

As more and more entrepreneurs look towards space exploration, it’s still almost unknown outside the industry that one of the world’s busiest launch sites is on the doorstep of the Caribbean. Erline Andrews learns how French Guiana’s half-century-old spaceport is essential to our future exploring the galaxy