Category Archives: Irma’s Island

Helping Hands

Hurricanes have shaped Caribbean ecosystems for millions of years. Any plants or animals that couldn’t survive the periodic damage from these storms would have disappeared from islands like St. Martin. The native species that live here today are hurricane-ready by design. But things have changed in recent centuries. Humans have altered the island tremendously. We …

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We Will Never Know

Hurricanes are a great force of transformation. In the Caribbean, they are often the milestones in our collective memory: before Donna, between Luis and Lenny, after Irma. Towns change after a hurricane and nature does, too. There are many natural changes that are associated with Hurricane Luis in 1995. Many will tell you that the …

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Out of the Woodwork

Nature lovers—and perhaps even casual observers—may have noticed some unusual animals on St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. There are a few different reasons why animals we don’t usually see here may be on the island, or more visible than usual. Hurricanes can bring animals with them, especially birds. Birds can be trapped in the eye …

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Out of the Woodwork

Nature lovers—and perhaps even casual observers—may have noticed some unusual animals on St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. There are a few different reasons why animals we don’t usually see here may be on the island, or more visible than usual. Hurricanes can bring animals with them, especially birds. Birds can be trapped in the eye …

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Welcome Back!

Every fall, birds come to St. Martin—thousands of individual birds from dozens of different species. These migratory birds come from North America. As it gets colder up there and food begins to get scarce, they head to the Caribbean. Many of them will stay until April or May. This year, Hurricane Irma hit St. Martin …

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Still Hanging On

Extinction has always been a part of island life. Why are smaller islands home to fewer species? In part, because of extinction. Small islands have less habitat, so they have smaller populations of plants and animals. If something bad happens—a severe drought or terrible storm—these small populations are at risk. On a continent, if a …

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The Path of Succession

After a major hurricane, it can take years for nature to recover. In this series, we look at the ways Irma has changed St. Martin, and how the island recovers—day by day and week by week. For the people of St. Martin, rebuilding after Irma will involve many plans and decisions. For nature, the path …

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The Path of Succession

After a major hurricane, it can take years for nature to recover. In this series, we look at the ways Irma has changed St. Martin, and how the island recovers—day by day and week by week. For the people of St. Martin, rebuilding after Irma will involve many plans and decisions. For nature, the path …

read more

Bend or Break

After a major hurricane, it can take years for nature to recover. In this series, we look at the ways Irma has changed St. Martin, and how the island recovers—day by day and week by week. The majority of plants and animals on St. Martin never experience a major hurricane. Consider the many insects with …

read more

Bend or Break

After a major hurricane, it can take years for nature to recover. In this series, we look at the ways Irma has changed St. Martin, and how the island recovers—day by day and week by week. The majority of plants and animals on St. Martin never experience a major hurricane. Consider the many insects with …

read more