Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC Palm Biologist, just returned from an 11-day expedition on the island of Dominica. He has returned with preserved specimens for scientific study and over 800 seeds for the living conservation collections.

Dominica is home to at least 10 species of palm. Larry’s interest was not only in seeing all of these species in the field, but especially those that would be in fruit this time of year. He was also interested in gathering genetically important seed samples from these populations for conservation purposes, especially Syagrus amara, which is his focus of research. Larry reports that Dominica has some of the largest forests of Syagrus amara that he has witnessed anywhere in the eastern Caribbean (left see Larry climbing a tall Syagrus).

On the right, Larry splits an inflorescence of Syagrus amara to make a voucher specimen; a duplicate of which was left at the Archibold Tropical Research and Education Center in Dominica along with some seed.

This project was generously funded by the Paul Drummond Fund for Palm Conservation and would not have been as successful without the collaboration of the Dominican Division of Forestry and the generosity of the Division of Agriculture. Special thanks to retired forester, Arlington James, who collaborated with Larry on this fieldwork project.