Roy DuVerger

The Unrecovered Country
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On September 6th, 2017 the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Hurricane in recorded history. Twelve days later we were hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

The amount of environmental destruction and wildlife death which resulted from this dual event was overwhelming. While my first priority was our safety and well-being, I watched and documented how our environment went about healing itself in our section of St. Thomas island.

I felt this study was of particular importance given the ongoing discussions over native and non-native flora and fauna and the advancing effects of climate change. When one looks up the details of a particular species, the one piece of information that does not exist is Natural Catastrophic Event Importance. Without this vital piece of information, how can one realistically make a determination of a particular species’ value in today’s climate or project its potential value 50 years from now when the full effects of climate change are estimated to be fully realized?

About the Author
Roy DuVerger, originally from New England, grew up as part of an outdoors oriented family, spending most of his free time hiking, exploring and studying the environment and wildlife found in the backwoods of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. An accomplished outdoorsman and Master Wildlife Conservationist with formal education in Wildlife and Forestry Conservation, Roy devotes his time to the research of wildlife habitat and ecology, conducting related wildlife studies, the development and creation of training videos, and environmental articles and books based on his personal experience.

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Review by Donna Marie Decker - June 11, 2021 Roy DuVerger's new non-fiction book, "The Unrecovered Country: Blue Roofs under Caribbean Skies" is a harrowing, moving, and compelling account of living through two-back-to-back Cat 5 Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in 2017.

It is a daunting tale of those days after and during the storms for Roy, his wife, and the surrounding wildlife that was severely affected by these natural catastrophes. It's an incredible testament to survival and resourcefulness. We hear detailed descriptions, like how Roy and 'beth "read" how the pummeling winds shift around the outside of their house -- to figure out where on the first floor to shield themselves and their two beloved cats. The winds and rains deluged the second floor.

This book is also an important first-hand account of how natural disasters affect local fauna and flora. When Roy and 'beth emerge from the storms, they see that NO LEAVES remain on the trees. They set out to feed as many of the local surviving birds as they can. Roy, a Master Wildlife Conservationist, gives facts and eyewitness sightings about the insect and bird life before and after the storms. (Also, he tells an amazing story about chickens that gives hope and a touch of lightness.)

I hope that this book is widely read and that scientists and environmental activists working in the fields of wildlife restoration find it.

It is a timely resource and powerful story.

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