Cross-breeding with Redonda goats will provide drought resistant goats for Antigua

Photo by Jenny Daltry

Antigua & Barbuda’s goat population will benefit from the relocation of Redonda’s goats, with experts reporting they have adapted to survive severe drought conditions.

Redonda Restoration Project Coordinator, Shanna Challenger said, “We think that they are extremely drought resistant as they have never been witnessed drinking water. When we have climate change and the possibility of more drought and more famine in the years to come by adapting our local goats here with possibly a cross of the Redonda goats…”

Challenger said this will only take place after they have preserved the Redonda breed of goats. The Veterinary and Livestock Division within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs has been an active partner in the restoration plans to handle the crossbreeding of local goats.

“They’re coming from a complete switch up. They don’t even know what a car sounds like, all they’ve heard are boats and wind and birds. So it’s just letting them acclimatise to the new change and [just let them] get stable first,” Challenger said.

The goats are transported via helicopter to Antigua and quarantined at The Ark supervised by Dr Fiona Francis. Challenger explained that  veterinarians from the agriculture ministry carry out thorough health checks of the invasive species.

More in today’s Daily Observer.