Caura: History, Failed Dam, and the Ecological Riches

Categories: HistoryRiver

The Caura area was once an Arawak settlement and it lay in the valley along the Tacarigua river approximately five miles north of the eastern main road. When the British captured Trinidad in 1797, nineteen lots were marked along the river area. This represented a strip that began from the Caura Valley entrance and lead right up to the head waters of Tacarigua River. This distance covered became known as Caura River. The location and climate in the mountain area lead to the inhabitation of settlers who initiated the cocoa and coffee estates in the region.

The valley was one of the healthiest localities in Trinidad. In 1943, the government and Sir Bade Clifford acquired all the land in and around the village of Caura in order to build a dam to supply the entire north of Trinidad with water.

The plan was to dam the Caura River and construct a three hundred acre lake in the village area. In 1946, all the buildings and people were cleared and workers began to lay foundations of the dam.

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No further work has been carried out on the dam and all that can be seen are remnants from this project. After this, there was an attempt to make Caura and aesthetically pleasing park. Caura recreational park is situated in a central portion of the Tacarigua river valley in the St. George County east which is an estimated nine kilometers from the Tacarigua town on Caura Royal road.

The park is approximately one and a half hours away from Port-of-Spain and almost an hour away from Arima.

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Improved conditions of Caura Royal Road has led to easier access to site hence more visitors. Vegetation is not unique but is important for water shed management and aesthetic reasons. Vegetation is mostly secondary growth. It is estimated that 60 % of the park area is formed by natural vegetation. However, cultivative species such as the Diptoryx ordorata(tonca bean) and calabash are common. Bamboo is also plentiful and is planted in riparian zones for ricer bank stabilization.

The vegetation and the present ecological factors encourage a diversity of wild life. There is a presence of many forest ornamentals and fruit trees due to agricultural estates. Mammals present include agouti, lappe, deer, armadillo/ tattoo, opossum, manicou or porcupine. Birdlife include parrots such as the common orange winged parrot and the yellow headed parrot. There is also a population of the blue crowned motmot. Organisms include guabine, tata, cascara, cray fish and mountain crabs. Reptiles and Amphibians include tree frogs, the common iguana and three of the four types of venomous snakes. These are large coral
snakes, Mapipire zanara and mapipire balsian.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Caura: History, Failed Dam, and the Ecological Riches. (2016, May 08). Retrieved from

Caura: History, Failed Dam, and the Ecological Riches essay
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