Human impact in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

As well as contributing to the extinction of plants and animals indirectly, by means of land, water and air pollution, we humans have caused the endagering and extinction of many species directly. By comercial overfishing, the world’s seas have become deficient in large fish. With every passing year, average fish size becomes smaller, that is because we have depleted the species of big fish, and now are fishing lower in the foodchain. If this trend continues, fish popullations worldwide, will become to low to sustain in the future. Other unhealthy fishing practices include shark fishing which uses only the fins for soups, and throws back to sea the rest of the shark.
Apart from comercial fishing, illegal fishing accounts for a great loss of biodiversity in the seas. Fish, used for food or as pets, are fished illegally, and with inefficient methods. For example, aquarium fish are caught with paralyzing venoms which kill most surrounding fish and many of the ones intended for selling. The same scenario of the sea occurs in land with overhunting, and illegal poaching of endangered and exotic animals.
Another way by which species become endangered, is the transport and introduction of foreign animal or plant species into incompatible ecosystems. This has occurred since the colonization of the new world, and probably before that. This “artificial migration” created by humans is bad, because it brings new species into an ecosystem, in which this species may have an advantage, and become a virtual plague. One such example is the introduction to Puerto Rico of the common iguana as a pet. When these pets got to big for the owners to maintain, they where released in the wild. After many years of breeding in the wild, these animals have populated the whole island and decreased the populations of many smaller animals because the iguana population has grown out of proportion, thanks in part to the absence of a natural predator. The same case has happened with a Puerto Rican specie, the “coqui”. This animal was carried to Hawai by immigrant workers in the early to mid twentieth century. Nowadays, populations have almost reached plague proportions because of the lack of a natural predator.
To conclude, we humans have a responsability to make a balance between our progress and the state and health of the planet and it’s species, because as an old proverb says “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our grandchildren”, we must make sure we leave the earth in the best conditions posible, so that future generations can enjoy and use our earth and to ensure the extension of the human species, and all our animal and plant friends.

The articles presented below represent the impact of construction of buildings
Specially mega resorts on places that might ruin the development or habitats of species.

New Mega Resorts Threaten Sea Turtles and Manatees in Puerto Rico

Throughout the Caribbean, mega resorts and hotels are proliferating, spoiling miles of pristine coastline and beaches. Now, major international hotel chains are threatening to develop some of Puerto Rico's last stretches of tropical coastline, publicly owned land known as the Northeastern Ecological Corridor (NEC). Although the NEC is home to sea turtles, manatees and rare tropical birds, it is not a nature reserve protected by Puerto Rico's government.
[This article was retrieved from Environmental Defense Action Network].

What's At Stake!

Protect Puerto Rico's Northeastern Ecological Corridor

One of Puerto Rico's last remaining wild areas, known as the Northeastern Ecological Corridor (NEC), is 3,200 acres of coastal fringe located between the municipalities of Luquillo and Fajardo. It is home to over 40 endangered, threatened, and endemic species, and remains one of Puerto Rico's last unprotected areas. Although Commonwealth authorities proposed to make the NEC a nature reserve in 1992, the region was rezoned for tourist-residential development in 1996.

The NEC contains an extraordinary array of tropical wildlife, a rarity on this overdeveloped Caribbean island, including critical marine mammals, birds, snakes, sea turtles and plant species. Puerto Rico's only remaining coastal wetlands and mangroves are found in this region. The NEC is also an important recreational resource for Puerto Ricans, as La Selva is a world class surfing beach.

Presently, the NEC is threatened by the development of two massive resorts that would create more than 3,000 tourist-residential units and three golf courses. The construction of the San Miguel-Four Seasons Resort and the Dos Mares-J.W. Marriott Resort would destroy wetlands, important watersheds, and the natural integrity of the NEC.

To view maps photos of the Northeast Ecological Corridor, please visit:

Environmental Defense Action Network