The largest and least populated of the Bahamian islands is Andros Island, a place of vast, uninhabited expanses and a wealth of biodiversity. Here you'll find the awe-inspiring Andros barrier reef - the second largest coral barrier reef in the Western hemisphere.
Located just off the tip of Florida, at 100 miles long and 45 miles wide, Andros is an interwoven mix of creeks, mangrove flats, tidal creeks and pine forests. Freshwater on Andros is filtered through an expanse of porous limestone. Underwater sinkholes known as "blueholes" reveal vast networks and complex webs of tunnels connecting land and sea.
Andros Island provides prime habitat for migratory songbirds such as the Kirtland's warbler, one of North America's rarest birds. Giant land crabs, the Bahamian woodstar hummingbird, the West Indian whistling-duck and the Northern Bahamian rock iguana, listed as threatened with extinction, can all be found on the island.
Fish thrive in Andros' waters including bonefish, blue tangs, barracudas and sergeant majors, which share the reefs with several shark species, sea turtles, manta rays, lobsters, queen conch, and various sponge species.
In 2006, the Conservancy led a team of scientists, researchers and students on a scientific expedition to explore the remote west side of Andros Island. They discovered a haven for baby sharks, turtles and a wealth of other natural life. Working with partners, we helped to expand Andros West Side National Park from 882,000 acres to nearly 1.3 million acres in this region, ensuring it will remain a natural wilderness.
Among the protected lands were tidal creeks and flats that are key to Andros Island's multi-million dollar bonefish industry, which attracts sports-fishermen and women from around the world.
The Conservancy works with many partners to ensure that this remote and wild island is protected. Currently, working with the Andros Conservancy and Trust, the Bahamas National Trust and Green Force, we’ve established an underwater coral nursery, where endangered fragments of staghorn and elkhorn corals are given a chance to grow and thrive. It's a community driven project; we're training locals to scuba dive so they can play a role ensuring the nursery's success.
With support through Nature's Hope for South Andros we're also working to establish the island's first conservation center, which will serve as a hub for environmental activities for the community. Our ongoing support will ensure that The Bahamas enjoys a growing and flourishing environmental movement.