St Martin, FWI, 12-14 May 2014
A workshop organized by the Réserve Naturelle de St Martin
Funding provided by CaMPAM and the SPAW-RAC as part of the grants awarded through the specific Small Grants for SPAW-listed Protected Areas
The spread of invasive alien species is one of the greatest threats to the native biodiversity in the Caribbean islands especially to its endemic species. The most damaging invasive aliens on our islands are typically vertebrates such as goats, feral cats, pigs, rats or iguanas. Many endemic and flagships species are now at risk if we do not implement proper eradication plan on the ground.
Most protected areas in the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles face the same issues: rats threatening marine birds, invasive iguanas threatening native iguanas or feral cats threatening birds. Invasive species are recorded in a wide range of habitats. Marine habitats are also concerned, not to mention lionfish issues that are already commonly discussed at a regional scale; the new invasion by halophila is an important concern for marine protected area managers.
In order to learn from each other and share best actions, the goal of this workshop was to strengthen management practices on the ground and to benefit from the most relevant and cost effective tools and actions related to alien species eradication.
During this workshop participants focused on 4 major invasive species: rodents, iguanas, plant species and invasive sea grass (Halophila stipulacea).
For each invasive species group the workshop defined
- Scientific watch on alien invasive species
- Alien invasive species monitoring plans
- Eradication plans
- Long term impact assessment on threaten endemic species
Participants shared their experiences and lessons learned with control and/or eradiction of each category of invasive alien species, including comparing their methos, baits, protocols, etc.
A field mission was also organize to compare methods for, and practice, removal of rodents on Flat Island in the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin.
Several protected areas from EU overseas territories in the Caribbean attended the workshop including Saba National Park, St Eustatius National Parks, Petite‐Terre National Reserve (Guadeloupe), Anguilla Park, Sint‐Maarten Marine Park Foundation, Réserve Naturelle Nationale de Saint‐Martin, and partners such as the government of Anguilla, the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).