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New ‘Alien’ invasion threatens TCI Rock Iguanas

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 4, 2020 — Green iguanas (pictured above left) do not belong in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Outside of their native range, they can breed quickly and can reach plague proportions if left unchecked. They can cause impacts to landscaping, infrastructure and will threaten the Turks & Caicos rock iguanas – which are only found in Turks & Caicos and are an important tourist attraction therefore important for the economy. Over in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands Government are struggling with the pressure of over a million green iguanas and has had to recently launch a program costing over £8.6 million to control them.

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Green iguanas are not currently believed to be established in the Turks & Caicos Islands, however, worryingly three sightings of green iguanas were confirmed in November 2019: two on Providenciales and one on Grand Turk. It is urgent that the likelihood of future arrivals of green iguanas is reduced, and when they do arrive that the Government is able to respond quickly.

As well as alien species arriving in Providenciales, they are also spreading – and the last remaining places supporting the native rock iguana are under threat. In the past couple of months, mice have reappeared on Big Ambergris Cay – this being the fourth invasion of rodents in the last 2.5 years, and rats have re-invaded Pine Cay, despite efforts costing in excess of $500,000 to fully remove rats to protect the iguanas.

Rodent invaders, photo by TC Natl Trust

For the Turks & Caicos Islands to be able to fight the tide of alien invasions, to protect its natural assets and to ensure the islands remain beautiful by nature, the Government needs to have effective measures and appropriate resources in place. These are clearly currently inadequate to meet the challenge.

PRESS RELEASE – TURKS AND CAICOS NATIONAL TRUST

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OFFICIAL STATEMENT from Carnival Cruise Line

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Earlier this morning, Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk.All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation. Carnival Freedom left Port Canaveral on Monday on a five-day cruise.

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Governor Nigel Dakin on Carnival Cruise Line Fire

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Magnetic Media can again Update:  Emergency teams including TCI Regiment members were on standby, ready to act once 911 alerted about the fire on board Carnival Freedom, says Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor.The assistance was, however not required as the crew communicated having the situation under control.The question is now, whether the fire has rendered the vessel inoperable. Will it be healthy enough to continue its itinerary.At this hour the Deputy Governor and the Home Affairs Minister are en route to the Grand Turk Cruise Center. The DDME is accompanying them as well, said the governor.“…we remain poised to help if needed, including responding to any requests that may be made by Carnival in support of passengers,” said Governor Dakin.Carnival Cruise Line has also since issued a statement.

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Carnival Freedom suffers fire damage while at port

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#TurksandCaicos, May 26, 2022 – Magnetic Media can report, information is fluid and changing as we give a update on the incident at the Grand Turk Cruise Port.Cruise passengers sharing photos and videos Stateside have given an up close perspective on this fright at sea, which greets us on this Thursday morning.Guest images show that it is the Carnival Freedom, exhaust stack ablaze in a menacing fire that had passengers scrambling to safety.The Carnival Freedom cruise ship which set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida suffered this disaster onboard; no word on what becomes of the voyage given the damages caught on cell phone cameras.While some information is changing, steady is the report that no one is hurt.Tweeted by ‘Chester 4×4’ the video is now making social media rounds and has been picked up by mainstream media in Florida.Officials had not spoken to the alarming matter up to the time of this post.

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