Anguilla

The JNCC database lists 213 introduced species for Anguilla.

Problems with invasive non-native species

Ongoing work by Mary Walker highlights that whilst there are many non-native species very few of these are invasive to Anguilla. Anguilla benefits from not having mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) as this has added to the survival of the endangered racer snake (Alsophis rijersmai). Although few species are invasive there are some species that cause problems, such as cats (Felis cattus), dogs (Canis familiaris), goats (Capra hircus) and rats (Rattus spp.). These species affect the populations of native reptiles as they compete for food, through predation and flattening their habitat. (Varham, 2006). The Pink Hibiscus Mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus) has been introduced to Anguilla and elsewhere is known to be a pest on a wide range of ornamental and crop species. Cuban Tree Frogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) have been reported since the 1980s and numbers have increased significantly in recent years. Elsewhere, they are regarded as a voracious predators and competitors of other amphibians and reptiles.

In the marine environment, Anguilla is being impacted by the spread of invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans), predatory fish which pose a threat to both commercial fisheries and coral reef fish communities.

There is no specific legislation regarding invasive species.

Priority invasive non-native species and actions

A 1997 report on the Conservation of Lesser Antillean iguanas recommended that goats and introduced Common (Green) Iguanas (Iguana iguana) be removed and restrictions on the further import and release of the latter. It also made recommendations concerning the spaying of cats and dogs and the removal of feral cat populations.

An OTEP funded study of the impact and potential for removal of rats from Dog Island was carried out in 2007 and established that the Island, which contains significant breeding seabird populations was infested with Black Rats (Rattus rattus) as well as at least 100-200 goats.  It recommended a rat eradication campaign using brodifacoum.

The Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources is monitoring the spread of Lionfish and has a targeted removal programme for shoals at a number of popular near-shore coral reef sites and bathing beaches.


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