British Virgin Islands

The JNCC database lists 33 introduced species for the BVI.

Problems with invasive non-native species

Whistling Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia) has become established on Anegada where it is now spreading naturally and could suppress native understory species. There are a number of introduced invertebrate pests of crops including papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) and hibiscus mealybug (Macronellicoccus hirsutus). The agave weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) was first recorded in 2001 and is now devastating populations of native Agave plants with up to 90% of the plants dead in some areas. Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is present on Guana Island. Introduced mammals (eg goats, pigs) can cause habitat damage whilst cats, rats, mongoose, dogs and pigs are predators of native fauna such as iguanas or breeding birds (Varnham 2006).

In the marine environment invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans) now occur in BVI waters and the Conservation & Fisheries Department have issued information about the species and there is a hotline for reporting sightings.

There is no specific legislation regarding invasive species.

Priority invasive non-native species and actions

Feral dogs were eradicated from Anegada during 1994-1999. The eradication of goats on Great Tobago Island is underway. Rats were eradicated from Sandy Cay in 2002.

In 2010 a project on Lionfish was funded by Defra covering training of key personnel on identification, biology, capture and mitigation techniques and for educational and public awareness activities.

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