July 18, 2015

1705, 1754 UNITED KINGDOM (Turks and Caicos Islands) - Turks and Caicos Islands (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

1754 Turks and Caicos Islands - Chalk Sound

Posted on 01.07.2015, 18.07.2015
The Turks and Caicos Islands have a high number of endemic species and others of international importance, partially dependent on the conditions created by the oldest established salt-pan development in the Caribbean. The islands are also important as a breeding area for seabirds and is a wetland site of international importance containing a variety of marine and coastal habitat types. There are also shallow inland ponds linked to the sea in times of storm and/or via subterranean channels.

1705 - Turks and Caicos rock iguana

Chalk Sound is a scenic natural lagoon on the southwest of Providenciales. Although the sound is nearly landlocked, the water here is clean and algae free. It has the unique feature of having hundreds of small rocky islands in shallow brilliant turquoise water. Many of the tiny islets are populated with rock iguanas, who exist by foraging for fruit, plants, prickly pear cactuses and the occasional insect. In the tranquil waters can be found also barracudas, bonefish, stingrays, lemon sharks and sea turtles. There is an old-fashioned, twin-engine airplane wreck that partially sticks out of the water. The wreckage is covered in algae, and it always delights visitors.

The Turks and Caicos rock iguana (Cyclura carinata carinata) is a critically endangered species of lizard endemic to these islands, which are home to 50,000 rock iguanas, the healthiest population in the Caribbean. Its generic name (Cyclura) is derived from the Ancient Greek cyclos meaning "circular" and ourá meaning "tail", after the thick-ringed tail characteristic of all Cyclura. Carinata means "keeled" and refers to the animal's scales. It has one subspecies which lives on Booby Cay, Bartsch's iguana (Cyclura carinata bartschi).

Measuring less than 770mm in length, is one of the smallest species of Cyclura. Its basic color can range from green to brownish grey, usually patterned by darker markings. Like other members of the genus cyclura, males of this species are larger than females and have larger dorsal crests and femoral pores on their thighs. It is diurnal and dwells in rocky areas and sandy habitats as sand is required for nesting. Like all Cyclura species, is primarily herbivorous, but its diet is sometimes supplemented with insects, mollusks, crustaceans, arachnids, lizards, and carrion. On Little Water Cay it is the only land creature (about 2,000 specimens).

About the stamps
On the postcard 1705
The first stamp, depicting the statue Dickens and Little Nell in Philadelphia, is part of a series dedicated to  Charles Dickens, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Flowers - Orchids of the Caribbean, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1754
The first stamp, depicting a portrait of Charles Dickens, is part of a series dedicated to the british writer, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Flowers - Orchids of the Caribbean,about which I wrote here.

Turks and Caicos Islands - UNESCO official website
Turks and Caicos rock iguana - Wikipedia

Sender 1705, 1754: Denise 
Sent from Providenciales (Providenciales / TCI), on 15.04.2015
Photo: S. Passmore

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