The Royal Gazette of Bermuda published an article this week noting one expert's opinion of an aspect of that country's new $50 banknote design. -EditorOne of the Longtails featured on Bermuda's new $50 banknote as been described as the wrong bird . a species that does not nest on the Island.
Eminent environmentalist David Wingate said he was "appalled" by the choice of the Red-billed Tropicbird, which hails from the West Indies and eastern Pacific, for the main image on the note.
"I was just yesterday looking at the notes and thinking how pretty they are but then I realised the Longtail featured is the wrong species which we don't have nesting here," he told The Royal Gazette.
"I regard it as a serious error for a 400th anniversary note printing, kind of like saying we meant to use a picture of Sir George Somers but one of American President George Washington will do."
Dr. Wingate said the non-native bird is featured sitting at the bottom of one side of the note, as the main image.
The Bermuda Monetary Authority last night apologised for "any specific technical error". However, spokeswoman Pat Phillip-Bassett said it was understood that the Red-billed bird was present on the Island, and it was chosen as the main image because its colour better fits the design of the note.
Ms Phillip-Bassett, assistant director of corporate governance and communications at the Bermuda Monetary Authority said: "A banknote design has to combine aesthetics, accuracy of depiction and technical concerns.
"The new Bermuda notes feature graphical representations of the colours, flora and fauna present in the Island. The research conducted for the banknote redesign initiative in conjunction with our partners in this project, De la Rue Currency, the international note printing firm based in the UK, showed references to both the White-tailed Longtail and the Red-billed Longtail as being present in Bermuda, with both appearing to have similar markings, albeit at different stages of maturation, and this is reflected in the representative graphic on the new $50 Bermuda note.
"Given the aesthetic considerations for this note, i.e. it is predominantly pale yellow in colour, the Red-billed Longtail was used for the main image to provide greater contrast. We apologise for any specific technical error within the graphical representations of the notes; they were designed with the objective of, among other matters, conveying the overall characteristics and image of Bermuda's natural beauty. The notes are now finalised and will be issued early next year."
According to Andrew Dobson, President of the Bermuda Audubon Society, the choice of the non-local bird is not the only thing that has riled environmentalists.
Other creatures that are not endemic to Bermuda feature on some of the other banknotes.
"There is some concern expressed that the whistling frog ($20) was an accidental introduction. Similarly, the cardinal bird ($100) was introduced by man," he noted.
To read the complete article, see: Longtail on new money isn't 'our' species (http://www.royalgazette.com/siftology.royalgazette
Wayne Homren, Editor
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