Invasive species in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown
Invasive non-native species are a major cause of biodiversity
loss globally; there impacts are often most severe on the island
environments typical of our Overseas Territories (Cheesman et
al 2003). Species on such islands are often vulnerable to the
impacts of non-native species because of their previous isolation
from predators, diseases or competitors. Indeed, the majority (72%)
of global extinctions since 1500 have occurred on islands and, for
example, 67% of threatened birds on oceanic islands are threatened
by invasive alien species compared to only 8% on continents
(Baillie et al 2004). Invasive species are also thought to
be responsible for the extinction of at least 65 bird species, more
than any other known factor (Baillie et al 2004).
The Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies of the United
Kingdom are comprised mostly of island environments (Procter and
Fleming 1999) and are notable for their numbers of endemic and
globally threatened species (more than occur in metropolitan UK).
Problems with invasive non-native species are apparent in many of
the Territories. There are a number of organisations who are
working to try to resolve the problems that non-native species are
causing in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
JNCC's work on non-native species in the Overseas Territories
and Crown Dependencies
JNCC has been involved in non-native species work in the UK
Overseas Territories since it was identified as a priority in a
workshop session at the UKOT Conference in Bermuda in March
2003. JNCC's work on non-native species in the UK Overseas
Territories and Crown Dependencies includes:
- 2010/11: For the International Year of
Biodiversity, JNCC managed a suite of invasive species projects across the
UK Overseas Territories, which were funded by Defra.
- 2009: Updating the UK Overseas Territories and
Crown Dependencies non-natives database, and coordinating a
UKOT non-natives workshop.
Fera's free invertebrate Identification Service for UK Overseas
Entomologists at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)
are conducting a Defra funded project to provide a free Invertebrate Pest Identification
Service for government authorities and conservation bodies in