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Jamaica has 114 forest reserves, and this series will be bringing you closer to some of these important and amazing locations. 

 

1. The Cambridge Backlands Forest Reserve (located in Portland) adjoins the Blue Mountain Forest Reserve.

2. The Forest reserve comprises 430.2 hectares of disturbed broadleaf forest. Disturbed broadleaf forest is a classification used to refer to areas of forest with broadleaf trees at least 5 metres tall with human disturbance such as cutting of trees, farming and animal grazing.

3. The area is wildly known for wild hogs, which are usually hunted as food.

4. Other fauna and flora that can be seen in this forest reserve are:

  • Water Mahoe (Hernandia catalpifolia). It is endemic to Jamaica and is the plant around which the entire lifespan of the Jamaican Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Pterourus homerus), the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere, revolves.
  • Philodendrons- Native to the tropical Americas, there are several hundred species of philodendrons. The two basic types are the climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing types). The roots of  Philodendrons plants are used to make wicker products.
  • The Jamaican Coney (Geocapromys brownii), also known as the Jamaican hutia, is endemic to Jamaica and restricted to the remote mountain regions of Jamaica, in the Blue and John Crow Mountains (Portland and St. Thomas) and the Hellshire Hills (St. Catherine). It is classified as endangered species and is protected by law in Jamaica.

5. As part of the 80th anniversary celebrations, the Forestry Department hosted a Forest Trek in this forest reserve on March 17, 2018.

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