Log In

Reset Password

Longtail nesting sites ‘under threat’ from development

Close to the edge: development of the Bermudiana Beach Resort on South Shore in Warwick may have damaged longtail nesting sites, according to the Audubon Society (Photograph supplied)

An environmental group has renewed calls for construction work on a Warwick cliff-side hotel to stop.

The Audubon Society claimed that excavation work reportedly carried out in recent months on Bermudiana Beach Resort was “shocking” and “flies in the face” of planning regulations.

Renovations to the resort were approved by the Development Applications Board last year and include a new pool and deck running close to the shoreline cliff edge, along with a set of steps and an elevator leading from the hotel to the beachfront.

The Audubon Society had previously raised concerns about those renovations and asked if the cliff side would have to be excavated to accommodate them.

The society provided The Royal Gazette with a photograph of the site, which it claimed showed “dramatic excavation“ of the cliff side that risked damaging protected longtail nesting sites.

A spokeswoman for the society said: “This photo of the dramatic excavation of the upper cliff side at the Bermudiana Beach Resort is shocking.

“These works have planning permission and have taken place over the past few weeks. What about the longtails? Bermuda’s South Shore cliffs are prime longtail habitat, and we are in the middle of nesting season. Was a survey done immediately prior to the commencement of the work to ensure that no longtails would be disturbed?

“Were any eggs or chicks destroyed during this project? How were the adults impacted?

“Longtails are a Level One protected species under the Protected Species Act of 2003. It is an offence to damage or destroy the nests, habitat or individuals of a Level One species.

“Were permits issued under the Act to allow for this? These are questions that need to be answered.

“The approval of these works at the edge of the cliff side flies in the face of what would be considered reasonable planning practices in this time of climate change. Sea levels are rising, and storms will be more severe and more frequent.

“While coastal jurisdictions are planning for a retreat from the shoreline, Bermuda is plunging ahead with development at the very edge of the cliff, a cliff that has already experienced significant erosion.

“What makes this project even more egregious is that it is being done by our government and we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill.

“We can do so much better. We ask our leaders in government to honour their commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. We ask them to respect and preserve our fragile coastline and the unique bird life that depends on it for their survival.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 12, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated August 12, 2023 at 8:12 am)

Longtail nesting sites ‘under threat’ from development

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon