Meet the James Family From Las Lapas, Trinidad and Tobago

This story comes courtesy of Husiff, a youtuber, who interviewed the James family from Las Lapas in Trinidad and Tobago. This captures their daily life in the beautiful Northern Range of the island.

Off the beaten part, Northern Range shows a different view of life that many of us who have never been to the twin island republic would never imagine. The James family residence is nestled in rich vegetation, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

This story provides captures our imagination and helps us to think about the Caribbean not just as a tourist destination but a place we where we want to live.

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Trinidad and Tobago Biodiversity

Resulting from the proximity to, and recent geological split from, the South American mainland, Trinidad and Tobago have a high species to area ratio. The two islands have approximately 175 families and 2,500 species of plants, 110 that are believed to be endemic to the island, including numerous palms. There are also reported to be over 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, 85 species of reptiles, and 30 species of amphibians.

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Tropical rain forest covers much of this ecoregion. In this forest type there are several tiers of vegetation interlaced with lianas and vines while epiphytic orchids, bromeliads and ferns are common. Typical plant species include Carapa guianenis, Ceiba pentandra, Spondias monbin, Pentaclethra macroloba, and Brownea latifolia (French 1991). One notable type of forest found extensively in east Trinidad, especially near Matura and Mayaro, is mora forest, dominated largely by Mora excelsa.

Birds constitute the largest group of vertebrates. Sixty-six families in twenty orders are represented in Trinidad and Tobago. The dominant order, as it is in many other parts of the world is the Passeriforms, accounting for almost a third of the families represented. A little over 400 species have been reported in Trinidad. As with other vertebrate groups, there are substantially fewer species in Tobago. About 170 species have been recorded for Tobago.

Nine orders and about 27 families of mammals are represented and all are typical of the adjacent mainland and the wider neotropics. There are approximately 100 indigenous species but the bats and rodents predominate. Bats account for over half of the mammalian fauna. The rest of the mammalian group includes the marsupials, edentates, a single armadillo species, several rodents, primates, a few carnivores, and deer.

About 40 species of snakes in six families can be found in Trinidad. In Tobago, there are fewer families and numbers of species. There are five families of lizards and about 25 species in Trinidad and Tobago. Of the amphibians in Trinidad, there are about 30 species in nine families, all in a single order. Tobago has only about one-third the number of species. All are frogs or toads of the anuran order. The golden tree frog (Phyllodytes auratus) is a notable endemic frog species of the montane forest in Trinidad.

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