by CLEMENTINE MOCKETT
LOVE BRAND & Co. are proud to be supporting The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fund. The fund works to mitigate the threats imposed upon the Union Island Gecko and to protect its 130 acre forest habitat. Its sole aim is to “support sustainable initiatives to promote the preservation of the beauty and natural value of the islands”.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES ENVIRONMENT FUND
In its work to protect the endangered Union Island Gecko, the fund works alongside Flora and Fauna International in collaboration with St. Vincent Forestry Department. The St. Vincent Fund has already successfully captured and prosecuted a poacher that has been collecting wildlife for the pet trade, a major step towards the preservation of the endangered species.
The Union Island gecko is endemic to Union Island in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. The species is critically endangered and is at high risk of extinction due to poaching, as well as the illegal wildlife trade supplying international rare reptile collectors. The other main threat is habitat loss due to local development and pollution. The tiny but mighty gecko is so small it was only discovered in 2015 and since then has become the most heavily exploited reptile from the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.
In March 2019, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines applied for the Union Island gecko to be listed as a protected species and to ban all international trade in this species.
This project has inspired Oliver’s new ‘Going Gecko’ printed Staniel Swim Short and Abaco Linen Shirt. Its intricate and ‘hidden’ design is representative of the loss and endangerment of the species. Shop the Going Gecko print online now and in-store.