Virgin Islands National Park Bioblitz 2017

White-lipped frog
NPS Photo/Emily Guss
Virgin Islands National Park engaged local scientists, citizens and visitors in the Cinnamon Bay BioBlitz on Saturday January 14, 2017.

An inventory of living creatures was collected within the Cinnamon Bay Campground and ruins area. Ranger Shane McKinley and citizen scientists collected data on large trees. Dr. Renata Platenberg collected data on snakes, lizards and frogs and Ranger Laurel Brannick collected data on birds.
Antillean Crested Humming bird David Horner
Photo by David Horner


More than 9 species of birds were sighted. These included: Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Yellow Warbler and American Redstart.
VI Worm Lizard Amphisbaena fenestrata
NPS Photo/Laurel Brannick

Herpetofauna & Mammals

Several species of Herpetofauna (reptiles/amphibians) and mammals were found throughout Cinnamon Bay Campground and trails. The Antillean frog, dwarf gecko, VI worm lizard and mongoose were found on the trails. The crested and barred anole, mongoose and deer were noted in the campground areas.

Dr. Platenberg stated that "The VI worm Lizard (Amphisbaena fenestrata) is very rare"!
Measuring the Rain Tree 2017 for the BioBlitz
NPS Photo/Emily Guss

Big Trees

Two big trees were measured; the first was the Rain tree. It is known to be the largest individual of this species in the US Virgin Islands. The Rain tree measured in at 234.4 inches in circumference, 71.8 feet in height, and 152.68 feet in crown spread. This Rain tree is considered a champion tree (largest of its species).

To calculate a score for big trees, this equation is used:
Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ of the crown spread (feet) = Score (points).
The Rain tree measurements were 234.4 + 71.8 + ¼ x 152.68 = 344.37 points.
This beat the previous measurement in 2003 when the tree measured at 342.7 points.

Bay rum tree (Pimenta racemose)
NPS Photo/Alan McKinley
The second tree measured was a bay rum tree located in part of the old Cinnamon Bay plantation bay rum plot. The bay rum tree isn’t a champion but is quite a large individual for the Virgin Islands. It measured in at 106.4 inches in circumference, 51 feet in height, and 39.7 feet in crown spread. (106.4 + 51 + ¼ x 39.7 = 167 points).

Typically a tree is considered a big tree when it has a score of 200 points or more. Give this one a few more years and it will be a truly magnificent tree!


Herpetofauna & Mammals

Campground Cinnamon Trail
Crested Anole Antillean From
Barred Anole Dwarf Gecko
Deer Mongoose
VI Amphisbaena


Brown Booby
Brown Pelican
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
Pearly-eyed Thrasher
Yellow Warbler
American Redstart
Scaly-nape Pigeon
Zenaida Dove
Smooth-billed Ani

Last updated: February 7, 2017