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Endemic Plants at Ramgoat Cave

Ann Sutton examines an endemic plant called Phyllanthus only found in this area. The leaves are phylloclades, flattened stems, from which the small flowers emerge. Jamaica has more than 900 endemic species and 101 of those species are found only in the Cockpit Country. And there are 5 or 6 species that are only found at this Ramgoat Cave spot and no where else in the world.

This road was constructed after the end of the 1918 War as a "make work" project for the returning soldiers. It was a very arduous and difficult project, because they had to cut the road into these hillsides following a natural fault line. And where they had to blast and cut, they had to build retaining walls like this one to hold back the rubble, so the road didn't slip off the side. This road illustrates the damage that can be caused by opening access to the natural forest by creating roads and trails. When you fly over from the air you can see that for about a mile on either side of the road the forest is seriously impacted.

Ramgoat Cave area is along the Burnt Hill/Barbecue Bottom Road in the heart of Cockpit Country.

Panorama taken 1/26/06

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Ann Sutton, formerly with The Nature Conservancy, describes this site in Cockpit Country.
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