Tackling the threat of invaders in our Overseas Territories


Invasive alien plant control work is being undertaken on Saunders Island in the Falkland Islands to target both Creeping and Spear Thistle. This is the first project to tackle invasive alien species using Defra's funding in this International Year of Biodiversity. Saunders Island © Falklands Conservation. Creeping thistle © Falklands Conservation

According to the 2009 Red List, 74 critically endangered species live in the UK Overseas Territories along with 50 endangered species and 167 vulnerable species, many of them unique to a single island or area. One of the main threats to these native species and rare habitats in our Overseas Territories are invasive species which have now firmly established themselves.


The United Kingdom has 14 Overseas Territories and three Crown Dependencies which collectively and individually make a significant contribution to global biodiversity and geological diversity. In December 2009 Defra gave JNCC £250,000 to focus on priorities in tackling the invasive species threat in our Overseas Territories during the International Year of Biodiversity.


The key projects have been identified by Overseas Territories as their priorities in the sea and on land, and range from baseline survey work to public awareness campaigns, prevention, eradication and controlling invasive species and protecting threatened species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. Over the next issues of Nature News, specific projects will be focused on in more detail.




Tara Pelembe

Overseas Territories Officer

Tel: +44(0) 1733 866919