The Virgin Gorda Island is one of the third largest islands in area, after Anegada and Tortola islands, and second largest in population, of the British Virgin Islands. This island covers an area of approximately some 8 square miles, and the population there stands at around 4,000 people. The commercial area is Spanish Town, which is said to be in the south western part of the Island. The island also houses geological formation of huge volcanoes and the pile of granite boulders that lay near the area is popularly known as “The Baths”. On the north side of the Baths is the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, which was previously known as the Little Dix Bay.
4. Historical Role
The Virgin Gorda Island is also named as the “Fat Virgin” by the explorer Christopher Columbus when he went on his second voyage in the year 1493. There is an anchorage of the Bitter End, which was actually the site of the landing of English explorer Sir John Hawkins and his cousin Sir Francis Drake. There were some 26 ships held at the anchorage, and the Bitter End was used to practice for the attack on the San Juan. It is also said that more than 200 mega-yachts from all around the world have been tied up in the harbor here. The resort named Little Dix was established in the early 1960s and one can see the Baths, Gorda Peak and the gin-clear bays of this valley.
3. Modern Significance
The tourists enjoy the luxury resorts, safe anchorages, and yacht clubs Virgin Gorda proffers. The Bitter End Yacht Club houses the premier resort, and one can enjoy the barefoot walk. The island has a natural elegance as one can view the Gorda Peak, Spring Bay, Devils Bay, and The Baths. There are many other tourist attractions in the area like sandy white beaches which are a pleasure to see, vacation villas that include luxurious and modest ones alike, or enjoy an afternoon drink or lunch at North Sound. The tourists can also hire a kayak as it is an island even for relaxation. For swimming and other water activities, one can visit the Pond Bay and people can enjoy meals at such local eateries as Hog Heaven, Fat Virgin Café and Boutique, and Island Pot.
2. Habitat and Biodiversity
One can see the shrubs, vines, and trees on the peak of the island and the famous species of the amphibians which are said to instinct like the Peltophryne Lemur (a.k.a. Puerto Rican Crested) toad. The desert scrub habitats support sheep and goats. Dwarf Geckos, seabirds, warblers, waterfowl, and shorebirds can be found along the coast. There are also many unique species of avian fauna found in the area, including such birds as the Grey Kingbird, Pearly-eyed Thrashers, and Northern Mockingbirds.
1. Environmental Threats and Territorial Disputes
The main threat to the island is being caused due to the development and other activities carried out by residents, visitors, and land developers, which are causing the decline of animal and bird species, and harm is even being caused to the ecosystem itself as well. The hilly areas in the region are also facing the wrath of mankind ensuing in the wake of the construction of roads, which are causing significant erosion. Even the native flora and fauna are being destroyed because of these construction activities.