Calling all nature lovers! This Travel Tuesday post is for you. Just a few minutes outside of Negril, away from the typical beach getaway, is the Royal Palm Reserve, a beautiful protected forest located within the Great Morass. It is a great spot for a day tour, nature walk, bird watching or general relaxation.
The reserve is home to 119 species of plants, including shrubs, herbs, climbers, grasses and ferns; more than 300 animal species, such as reptiles and 52 species of birds.
The Morass Royal Palm, from which the reserve gets its name, is endemic to Jamaica, with its growth restricted to the Great Morass and other wetlands in western Jamaica. The reserve was conceived as a part of a proposal for peat mining in the morass during the mid 1980’s. It was discovered that the stand of Morass Royal Palms located at the south-western corner of the Morass was all that remained a once much larger wetland forest that had been extensively logged and cut down in previous years. Because of the very restricted distribution of the palm globally, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) decided to establish the Royal Palm Reserve in order to protect the rare plant in Negril.