ABACO BARBS: THE LATEST NEWS OF THEIR PLIGHT Sept 2011
Normal(-ish) service is resumed after a break… Before I went away I posted about the Abaco Barbs and the precariousness of their continued existence as a species. I have just heard from Milanne Rehor of ARKWILD with a completely up-to-date report on the current situation. From her account it is clear that these rare wild horses really are on the brink of extinction
“Currently, we have the three mares in a reduced area of the Preserve. We have had limited sightings of one stallion outside the Preserve. The second outside stallion hasn’t been seen in over a year so we don’t know if he still is alive.
The mares’ physical condition is “OK” but because of the smaller size of the Preserve (due to financial cut backs) they are in need of a blacksmith’s attention, veterinary attention to their dental condition and veterinary investigation of their reproductive capabilities.
We are in immediate need of funding to provide grain for the horses, (to supplement the smaller forage area), wages for our men (currently reduced to part time) in their work of feeding the horses, providing security for them and maintaining the electric fence and other chores.
The Bahamian Government has been helpful to a point with an expressed interest and indirect support of the horses , for example the President of our Board of Directors is also the Chief Warden for the Northern Bahamas for the Bahamas National Trust. A number of other board members are equally well placed, but the government has not yet directly contributed financially.
PHOTO CREDITS: ARKWILD CLICK LINK====>>> ARKWILD
ABACO BARBS: DRAMATIC HURRICANE IRENE VIDEO & NEWS UPDATE
I have been in touch with Mim at ARKWILD to find out the latest news on the Abaco Barbs, and in particular how things are after Hurricane Irene. She has kindly sent a brief update which speaks for itself – not very optimistic-sounding, I’m afraid:
“Horses did fine, but we are down to the three mares inside, and one, possibly still two, stallions outside, we’re still fighting but it’s hard to paint this picture in pretty colors right now . . .”
Mim has also sent the link to a dramatic 4 minute video which includes vivid footage of Hurricane Irene’s power as it passes over on August 25; and the aftermath on August 26 with graphic footage of damage, debris and flooding. Luckily the mares in the compound and her dogs were ok. Her boat home, well secured before Irene struck, still had various parts including its solar panels blown off, which she was fortunately able to recover by diving for them!
RICKY JOHNSON leads wonderful birding and natural history outings, taking small parties to the prime hotspots for Abaco Parrots and much else besides – see RICKY JOHNSON’S ECO-TOUR for a detailed account. He also takes small groups to see the Abaco Barbs in their protected forest surroundings near Treasure Cay. These photos were taken there in March 2011. The horses are free to roam in the pine forest, but the compound is their HQ, where they can be sure of a feed. There are 4 mares and 1 stallion remaining: even with the best efforts of those concerned, the preservation of this unique breed seems sadly doomed.
ARKWILD is the website to go to for information. There’s a link to the website in the Sidebar Blogroll and also a Twitter link in the Sidebar. Here is the direct link to the latest summary (dated July 2010, but in sequence it should be 2011, I think) and donation page – it is also the portal to the rest of the site with information, photographs and videos CLICK LOGO ===>>>
In the rollingharbour tradition of encouraging easy access to online material, here is a selection of 8 videos about Abaco Barbs, the near-extinct wild horses of Abaco. In due course I’ll add some links to the most informative websites and also some photos. The first 3 videos derive from the origins and subsequent conservation work by the charity Arkwild. There’s a link to the Arkwild site in the sidebar Blogroll. The struggle to try to preserve the breed is extremely well documented on the internet, and needs no repetition from me. It’s worth saying, however, that the situation is now worse than ever: in March 2011, there were only 5 horses left, of which only one is a stallion…
The remaining videos are mostly collections of stills, some accompanied by music that you may want to turn down. Or off, in one case. There’s a degree of repetition, but I have left them there in case there is an image that strikes you as special or a nugget of information that is of interest…
THE ARKWILD VIDEOS
Horses in the Pines, the story of the Abaco Barbs. Only 8 left on the planet, their story is both tragic and beautiful. by photogchic1 | 3 years ago |
This compelling video is an introduction to the story of the Wild Horses Of Abaco. Only a few are left now, we’re fighting hard to save them from … by arkwild | 2 years ago |