Click here for our podcast video presentations on Cockpit Country.
Click here for our podcast video presentations on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).
is a rugged, inaccessible area of inland Jamaica. These very characteristics have given it special importance and it is proposed that it become a World Heritage Site.
It is an island-within-an-island of specially-adapted biodiversity found nowhere else in the
world and is a last refuge for some species driven from the rest of
Jamaica by humans.
The name Cockpit Country has its origins in the Maroon Wars, when a population of Maroons was able to force the British into signing a peace treaty in 1738. At that time (the early eighteenth century) . the term "cockpit" was in nautical use, denoting an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken (more info).
Cockpit Country is also the type location for cockpit karst, a special landscape of conical hills and irregular, star-shaped hollows where abiotic conditions have led to an extraordinary diversity of endemic species.
On this website, we use the Cockpit Country boundary defined by Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group, of which we are part. This boundary was defined by a) the extent of cockpit karst and b) the area where the Maroons and British fought the Maroon Wars. Here's a presentation of the rationales for this boundary.
For those who wish to learn more about the biota, it should be noted that most interesting activity takes place at night (e.g. bats, reptiles and frogs) and that most species are secretive and difficult to find. We do not have any large fauna: snakes and parrots are about as large as it gets but, while parrots (and birds in general) are active early and late in the day, you are very unlikely to come across a Jamaican Yellow Boa as it sleeps off its last meal in some secluded spot. The most fascinating denizens of the Cockpit Country may be the invertebrates: snails, crabs, fireflies, peeny wallies,beetles, butterflies, not to mention our special interest in midges and rotifers!
We think that the best way to get a flavour of the tropical forest is to come for a "Meet the Researchers" dinner at Windsor. Here you will also find out what research is going on, how the puzzle of a wet-tropical-forest foodweb is being explored and what conservation activities are being implemented. Accommodation is also available at various locations around Cockpit Country and in relatively-close tourist areas.
This site is operated by the Windsor Research Centre and is intended as a resource for students, researchers, the Cockpit Country communities and the general public. We encourage interaction on this site: if you have comments, needs, or are aware of additional information that should be posted, please (We are continuously updating the site)
It is also intended to generate some of the core funding needed to operate the Research Centre by publicising our "Meet the Biologists" dinners and our accommodation.
We operate a separate site to inform the public of WRC's institutional arrangements