About the territory

Anguilla was first discovered by Amerindian tribes. Evidence of this discovery is as old as 3300 years. Christopher Columbus sailed past Anguilla in 1493 but did not land.

Located in the Caribbean at latitude 18° 15’ North, longitude 63° 10’ West, Anguilla is the most northern of the Leeward Islands. The average monthly temperature is (27C) with 90cm of rain per annum.

Anguilla consists of the main island which is around 26km in length by 5km in width and also a number of smaller island and cays. Overall the total land area of Anguilla is 91km2.

The population was last recorded to be around 11,561 (2001 census). The main industries in Anguilla are tourism and fishing, where fishing employs around 20% of the whole population.


Kew’s online Herbarium database states that about 500 species of plants have been recorded on Anguilla, 280 of which are non-native and one of which is endemic (Kew UKOTS Online Herbarium). There are 25 species of amphibians and reptiles including eight introduced and three endemic lizard species (Edgar 2010). There are 38 species of breeding birds and a further 101 species occur as regularly non-breeding (Sanders 2006). The only native terrestrial mammals are five species of bat.

Policy/Strategy background

Anguilla has a National Environmental Management Strategy and Action Plan 2005-09 which fulfills its obligations under the St. George’s Declaration (SGD) of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), 2001. Under Principle 13 (Protect and Conserve Biological Diversity) Strategy 40 covers activities aimed at avoiding or minimising introductions and escapes of alien or living modified organisms with adverse impacts on other organisms, the environment or human health.

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