The karstlands of Trinidad and Tobago, their land use and conservation



The karst landscapes of Trinidad and Tobago, although restricted in area, present a previously undocumented array of tropical karst landforms, including karren, caves, springs, valley systems, and a range of dolines or sinkholes, including an area of polygonal cockpit karst. The karstlands are located primarily in the Northern and Central Ranges of Trinidad and in the southwestern portion of Tobago, and they have developed on carbonate rocks ranging in age from Jurassic to Quaternary. Associated with them is a range of vegetation types and faunal communities, many of which have been much altered by human land management, including forestry and agriculture. Quarrying has destroyed much of the karst in the western part of Trinidad, and urban development and tourism have taken their toll too, especially in the Lowlands of western Tobago. Little of the karst is incorporated within existing protected areas.