A Generic Look
The Unique Ecosystem that is Ascension
Ascension Island is a unique insight
in to the stages of development of ecosystems. On its discovery it did not
contain much in the way of any ecosystem with only a few plants and animals.
Through the years when the island was visited by travellers and the like many noticed the birds that where flying around.
Ascension has one species of bird that is Endemic to it, the Ascension Frigate, and many more species that breed elsewhere in the Atlantic.
There are various groups of Boobies, Tropicbirds, Petrels, Terns and Noddy.
Peter Mundy did note that the island did have a rail on it but these are now extinct.
Ascension Island is known for one species more than any other and that is the Green Turtle which breed and lay their eggs on the island before returning to the coast of Brazil.
The Island has an abundance of sea life as well with numerous types of fish.
It is also home to numerous varieties of plant life.
See the menu (left) for each particular subject more in detail.
The Island has been subject to a number of botanical expeditions, the first was completed by James Cunninghame who was on the island in 1698.
William Dampier explored most of the island while marooned there with is crew.
Peter Osbeck a Swedish priest collected some plant life in 1752 when arrived on the island
1843 saw the most influential of all, that being Joseph Dalton Hooker. He advised the Admiralty that a Gardener should be appointed to the island and advised on importing various plant life. This was an attempt to transform the barren island into a green and lush island that would produce more rain and thus increase the water supply and soil formation on the island and improve the vegetation even further.
Having a plan. He wanted to introduce plant life on Green Mountain, in Valleys and on the more promising lowlands.
John C Bell became the island's gardener in 1844 and set about obtaining plants that would most suit the Island, they came form St Helena, Brazil and a large number from Kew Gardens (J.D. Hooker became director of The Royal Botanical Gardens in 1865).
Further imports came in from Africa, with most from South Africa and the Botanic Gardens there.