Ann Stafford

Unido: 25.jun.2015 Última actividad: 22.jul.2024 iNaturalist

I was a Nature Tour Guide and have lived in the Cayman Islands with my family since 1973, after living in Guyana for 7½ years, part of the vast and fantastic Amazon Basin Rain Forest system. Growing up as a child in the English countryside, with my inherited a love of nature and the help of family, friends, and books with good illustrations, I knew my surroundings - the trees, shrubs, wild flowers, birds, butterflies, etc. I have been researching and recording Cayman’s native plants, butterflies and other wildlife and have an extensive collection of photographs and scanned Virtual Herbarium images. I understand the need to preserve Cayman’s natural heritage, the unique small island flora and fauna, for future generations and I appreciate the importance of food chains and food webs and that plants are the primary producers. If Cayman loses a particular larva food plant, for example, we could lose an endemic subspecies of butterfly.

I have learned much from Visiting Scientists Dr. R. R. Askew – entomologist, and Dr. George R. Proctor – American-born Caribbean botanist. In 2002 I found an unidentified shrub. It took several years to find flowers and then in January 2005, little fruits were eventually found. Dr. Proctor took a specimen to the US National Herbarium in Washington, D.C. Comparing it with close relatives of the genus Casearia, he determined that it was a previously undescribed species, a species new to science. He named it Casearia staffordiae. It is a very slow-growing Critically Endangered Grand Cayman endemic shrub. I collated photos of many plants for the colour plates for the 2nd Edition of Proctor’s Flora of the Cayman Islands, published by Kew in 2012. I am co-author with Dr. Askew of the book Butterflies of the Cayman Islands, 2008.
Keep Cayman Unique!
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