The Black River Safari

Topics: Mangrove, Crocodile, Soil Pages: 7 (1695 words) Published: April 8, 2013

Presentation and analysis of data
Black Soil Composition
Importance of biodiversity
Impact on the wetlands in the community of Black River


What is the importance of Biodiversity?

Black River is the capital of St. Elizabeth and also the name of the river located in that region. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the light bulb and it came to Jamaica 24 years later. Black River became popular in the 1900’s because it was the first town to receive electric light, telephone and a motorcar.

The Black River was given its name because of the dark soil known as peat. The Black River is about 18,000 acres of wetland travelling for 44 miles or 70km with a depth of 18-20ft starting in Trelawny and emptying into the Caribbean Sea. It is the largest navigable river in Jamaica and the English speaking Caribbean. The Salt Spring water of 14 miles meets Black River at Broad Water and is one of the seven rivers that join the Black River before going out to sea. It was used for transportation in the early 1900’s from wetlands to dock; to float rum, pimento, sugar, cattle skin and logwood. The logwood was later used to make dye. However, the Black River now provides a source of income, fishing ground for locals and fishermen and a great tourist attraction which in turn provides jobs for tour guides.


On the 7th of March 2013 the Geography students of 101-2 were taken on a field trip to the Black River Safari owned by J. Swaby. This trip helped us to further understand biodiversity and how it works, as our tour guide and teacher patiently pointed out sites of interest. Our knowledge from the classroom allowed us to quickly grasp the information given. We were given the opportunity to take photographs with our camera to record the information.


The Black River accommodates a lot of flora these include:
There are four types of mangroves; red, white, grey and black. The red and white ones grow in swampy areas and the grey and black ones grow on land. The Black River has two types of mangroves the red and white mangroves. They grow up to 16 inches a year. The roots of mangroves provide a nursery ground for a wide range of marine organisms. They also help to protect the water’s quality and clarity by filtering runoff and trapping sediments and debris. Red Mangroves

The red mangroves also known as Rhizophora Mangle grows where brackish (mixture of salt and fresh water) or salt water is present. They have broad leaves that are greener on the top than at the bottom with a thick bark, grey-brown in colour and aerial roots that act as giant straws taking in water, vitamins and nutrients. They can grow up to 80 feet.

White Mangroves

The white mangroves have little leaves that are elliptical in shape and are bright in colour. Salt is excreted from its pores that are on the leaves giving it its shine. The White Mangroves can go up to 60 feet and produce a white flower.

Mangrove Avenue

All mangroves in Mangrove Avenue are estimated to be over 150 years old and consist mainly of red mangroves. In the early 1900’s the red mangroves were used to make dyes for floors, leather and furniture.

Water Hyacinth
The Water Hyacinth came from Brazil and is a good habitat for fresh water shrimps. It has broad, thick glossy leaves which may rise and float on the water surface; however, it cannot grow or survive in salt water. The Water Hyacinth cleans the water from pollution but it is a problem because it grows quickly and blocks the river channel. Phragmites (wild cane)

This plant protects the river bank from erosion.

Giant Fern

There are 550 species of ferns across Jamaica. The Giant fern is the largest of them and the only one that can survive in brackish water.

Bulrush Plant

The Bulrush plant is tall and stark used for making straw...
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