Forest Decline in Trinidad & Tobago

Paul L. Comeau

Abstract


Three states of forest (Prescott-Allen 1986) can be recognized in Trinidad and Tobago: the first forest (pre­ Columbian, undisturbed, approximately 7% of the total land area); the second forest (natural regeneration on abandoned farms and estates, approximately 18% of the total land area); and the third forest (managed through cutting and plantation, approximately 25% of land area). At present in Tobago, according to Chalmers (1992), natural forest occupies 4,914 ha (16.4% of land area), lastro and bamboo 14,613 ha (48.9%), tree crops 5,772 ha  (19.3%) treeless areas 4,662 ha (15.5%). The Western Hemisphere's first forest reserve was established on Tobago's Main Ridge in 1765 (Trinidad's earliest forest reserves were set up in 1902).


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