Anguilla Invasive Species WORKSHOP REPORT

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Anguilla Invasive Species WORKSHOP REPORT 29 th May 2007 Paradise Cove Hotel, Anguilla Anguilla National Trust P. O. Box 1234 Museum Building Albert Lake Dr. The Valley ANGUILLA Phone:
Anguilla Invasive Species WORKSHOP REPORT 29 th May 2007 Paradise Cove Hotel, Anguilla Anguilla National Trust P. O. Box 1234 Museum Building Albert Lake Dr. The Valley ANGUILLA Phone: Website: Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report WORKSHOP BACKGROUND Invasive species are a huge threat to biodiversity worldwide, and possibly the biggest threat currently facing the continued survival of wildlife on small islands. Many species are moved around the planet by humans, some deliberately like crop plants and domestic animals, and some accidentally like insects in the soil of imported plants, or the larvae of marine animals in ships ballast water. Most of these new introductions do not go on to cause environmental problems but a small proportion do, and can wreak havoc on unprepared native wildlife. They also can have detrimental human and economic impacts. Anguilla is not exempt from non-native species introductions. Species such as the black rat are having devastating impacts on globally important seabird populations and carry diseases which affect human health. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in the UK has developed a non-native species database which collected all known records of non-native species in the UK Overseas Territories. There are currently 212 species recorded in the database for Anguilla, 1 invertebrate, 196 plants (61 if cultivated plants are not included) and 15 vertebrates (3 amphibians, 5 reptiles, 1 bird, 6 mammals). There are many gaps in the database and for most species there is little or no supporting information. WORKSHOP PURPOSE The purpose of the workshop was to gather information about the scale of the threat invasive species pose to Anguilla s native plants and animals, to start to prioritise the species which need to be tackled first and discuss some of the actions that need to be undertaken. The purpose was achieved by: - General introduction to invasive species globally and in the Caribbean - Presentation of a case study from Anguilla (Giant African Snail) - An overview of the JNCC non-native species database - Updating and filling in the gaps in the JNCC database list of non-native species for Anguilla - Identifying and using potential criteria for invasive species prioritisation - Discussion of the actions that need to be undertaken for 3 invasive species - Development of objectives which could form the basis for an invasive species strategy PARTICIPANTS More than 20 participants attended the workshop from a wide range of government departments and organisations (See Appendix 1). The main stakeholder groups not represented were the garden centres and customs. Participants were asked to write their expectations at the start of the workshop (See Appendix 3). The main reasons given for attending the workshop were to increase knowledge of invasive species issues and to find out more about the practical actions that can be taken to control or eradicate various species. Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 1 METHODS The workshop endeavoured to facilitate the equitable and effective participation of all key stakeholders. There were several informational presentations made during the workshop by the consultant and Department of Environment (See Appendix 4). Group work was employed to maximise discussion and to bring out the key species and issues. The workshop agenda appears as Appendix 2. WORKSHOP OUTPUTS The main outputs of the workshop were: - Increased understanding of the detrimental impact of invasive species on Anguilla - Updated list for the JNCC database (Appendix 6) - The beginnings of invasive species action plans for 3 priority species, the Giant African Snail, Black Rat and Cuban Tree Frog (Appendix 7) - Objectives which could form the basis for an invasive species strategy (Appendix 8) NEXT STEPS - Establish an Invasive Species Working Group led by the Department of Environment with representatives from the stakeholders listed in Appendix 9. The main stakeholders would include Environment Health, Animal Welfare, Anguilla National Trust, Department of Agriculture and Department of Education (Lead is Rhon Connor, Dept. of Environment) - Develop and implement plans for 3 priority species identified during the workshop (Giant African Snail, Black Rat, Cuban Tree Frog). Note although the Cuban Tree Frog has negative impacts for humans it is not known to have any impacts on native species - Use the information from the workshop to inform the development of an invasive species strategy and the biodiversity strategy and action plan - Verify and send the updated non-native species list to JNCC (Karen Varnham) - Set up a database on Anguilla that links to the JNCC database in the UK (follow up with Tara Pelembe ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to the Anguilla National Trust and the Anguilla Department of Environment for all their support in organising the workshop and the UK Governments Overseas Territories and Environment Programme for providing the funding. Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 2 APPENDIX 1: Participants Name Affiliation Contact Details 1. Alex Fleming Environmental Health Unit (Vector Control) Alceo Richardson Environmental Health Unit Mary Smith ALHCS (Science Department) Michelle Carty ALHCS (Humanities Department) Antonio Christopher Plant Quarantine Rhon Connor Department of Environment Suzie Donahue Anguilla Animal Rescue (AARF) Pedro Geraldes SPEA (BirdLife Partner Portugal) Everette Clark Cuisinart Resort & Spa Mike Pollard Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Hyacinth Hughes Anguilla Beautification Club Icilma Morton Environmental Health Unit (Vector Control) 13. Oliver Hodge Environmental Health Unit Winston Carter Cuisinart and Spa Marino Hodge Cuisinart and Spa Colin Wilkinson Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 17. Lloyd Gumbs Cap Juluca Resort Jamain Rochester Cap Juluca Resort Andrew Costa Agriculture Damien Hughes Anguilla National Trust 21. Karim Hodge Department of Environment 22. Sarah Sanders Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 23. Karen Varnham Invasives Consultant Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 3 APPENDIX 2: Workshop Programme Session 1 9:00 9:30 Ice-breaker: introductions, expectations Session 2 9:30 10:30 Introduction to invasives - Global/Caribbean/ Anguilla Why they are an issue that can t be ignored Background presentations Break 10:30 11:00 Session 2 11:00 12:30 The current situation with invasive species on Anguilla. Brainstorm species. Review of the background document. Identifying criteria for prioritisation. Group work - Is list complete? - Identify criteria for invasive species prioritisation - Using criteria choose 3 top species. Lunch 12:30 13:30 Session 3 13:30 15:00 Focus on 3 key species. What needs to be done? Groupwork - Problem/threat - Distribution - Actions to be taken - Who should be involved? Break 15:00 15:15 Session 4 15:15 16:00 Identifying actions to inform a strategy. What needs to be done? By Who? Conclusion/ Next Steps Plenary discussion SS KV & RC SS & KV SS & KV SS Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 4 APPENDIX 3: Workshop participants expectations - Identify main problems caused by invasives in Anguilla - I am here to participate and learn. I expect to learn about the non-native species - I am here as a participant to contribute and support all ideas that are workable. I hope that we can learn and apply the information - How to take care about plants (trimming and when to spray) - To learn more about invasive species. To identify species other than the giant african snail which are destructive. To learn strategies and techniques to make this topic accessible to the students at the ALHCS - Identification of invasive species. Procedures to eradicate invasive species. Damage/cost of these invasive species - I would like to know how to eradicate those dangerous creatures - I am hoping to have a more hands on treatment method to deal with African snails and other harmful pests in and around Anguilla s neighbouring islands. Also to have a pest control board set up to rid the island of these pests - Feral cats - Strategies for controlling the snail population in Anguilla - Prioritise actions to take in the near future - I expect to hear much information on a few pests that we have on the island and how to go about eradicating them - Methodology that works on stray cats and dogs. What about invasives that come by natural processes? Learning to deal with them - To learn about the various invasives on the island. Effective methods of dealing with them (practical and cost effective) - To learn more about vectors and the means of control. To learn about different species of rodents native to Anguilla - Understanding which species are causing problems to native fauna and flora. What might be feasible to control/minimise future impact - To find ways of effectively preventing and managing invasive species from Anguilla - The UK has lots of problems with invasive species including plants, crayfish etc. I m interested to learn about the situation on Anguilla to see what shared issues we have Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 5 APPENDIX 4: Workshop Presentations Anguilla Invasive Species workshop report Page 6 Non-native species in the UK Overseas Territories: a review Karen Varnham The UK Overseas Territories Politically retain close links with the UK Two kinds of affiliation Overseas Territories & Crown Dependencies Extremely diverse Photo: Photo: Pitcairn Is Bermuda Cayman Is Turks & Caicos Is British Virgin Is Anguilla Montserrat Isle of Man Channel Is Gibraltar British Indian Ocean Territory British Antarctic Territory Falkland Is South Georgia South Sandwich Is Ascension St Helena Tristan da Cunha Relative sizes of the UK and the OTs Area (1000 km2) British Antarctic Territory Metropolitan UK All other OTs Invasive species in the OTs Many OTs and CDs are small islands Home to many rare and threatened species Biggest threat to biodiversity of small islands is invasive species (acc. IUCN) No baseline information available about invasive species in the UKOTs JNCC invasive species review JNCC advise the UK government on nature conservation affecting the UK and internationally Their brief includes the UKOTs and CDs Commissioned a review of invasive species in UKOTs and CDs Aims: determine scale of problem and priorities for action Invasive species in the OTs: Phase 1 Desk study looking for records of invasive species in OTs Consulted wide range of written sources Quickly decided to broaden scope of study: all non-native species Phase 1: Information gathered Basic data: Latin & common names, habitat types Distribution & rate of spread: Fields for date of introduction, present and potential distribution. How species get around: Fields for route of entry, modes of transmission. Ecological problems: Fields for known and suspected ecological problems caused Actions: Fields for actions so far, actions planned and desired conservation outcomes Non-native species in the OTs: Phase 2 Sent data out to experts for validation & review Doubled the number of non-native species records (from 1283 to 2950) Added extra data to many other species records Database & accompanying report now available online ( Non-native species in the OTs Vertebrates Inverts Plants S. Sandwich Cyprus SBA BAT Guernsey Jersey Turks & Caicos Isle of Man BVI Montserrat Pitcairn S. Georgia Gibraltar Cayman Tristan Ascension Anguilla Falklands BIOT St Helena Bermuda No. of species records Invasive species in the OTs Some species were found in many OTs Mammals: Rats (14), cats (11), goats (5) Plants: Leucaena (10), Casuarina (8) Invasive species in the OTs Others only found in one or two Reindeer in South Georgia & Falklands Starlings in Bermuda Logwood in Cayman Invasive species in the OTs Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) Invasive in Ascension Accidental introduction in organic matter Outcompetes native plants, destroys turtle nesting habitat Controlled by weeding and biological control Photos: Invasive species in the OTs Cat (Felis catus) TCI & elsewhere Deliberate introduction for pest control & humanitarian reasons Contributed to local extinction of TCI iguanas Successfully eradicated from Long Cay in 1999 Photo: Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos Future of the database Collect more data encourage people to send more information Forum for sharing information and expertise within the OT community Source of information for prioritising which invasive species to control And for developing practical management plans to carry out this control Acknowledgements Thanks to JNCC, UKOT Conservation Forum and the many other organisations & individuals involved Database and report available from Varnham, K.J. (2006) Non-native species in the UK Overseas Territories: A review JNCC Report no. 372 Invasive Species and the Caribbean Karen Varnham The invasive species problem Invasive species are one of the biggest problems facing global biodiversity The World Conservation Union (IUCN) rates them as 2 nd biggest threat after habitat loss But possibly the biggest single threat to small islands What is an invasive species? Native species are those found naturally within a particular area e.g. bananaquits What is an invasive species Endemic species are those found in only one location, e.g. Cayman blue iguanas What is an invasive species? Introduced species (also called exotic, non-native or alien species) are those arriving due to human activity e.g. mango trees What is an invasive species? Invasive species are introduced species that successfully establish in, and then overcome native ecosystems. e.g. rats & Casuarina trees What makes a species invasive? Only a very few introduced species go on to become invasive (about 1%?) A species may become invasive in one particular place but not in others Best predictor of invasiveness is if a species is invasive in similar conditions elsewhere What makes a species invasive? Adaptable can live in several different habitats Short generation time can build up numbers quickly Good powers of dispersal can spread rapidly Lack natural predators or diseases in new range Arriving in habitats already disturbed by humans Invasive species on islands Islands cover just 3% of the earth s area Home to around 15-20% of all plant, reptile and bird species More than 80% of all recorded extinctions have occurred on islands How do invasive species reach Accidental Introductions e.g. rats islands? Brought to the New World by European travellers Highly adaptable, now found on more than 80% of the world s islands How do invasive species reach islands? Accidental introductions e.g. pink hibiscus mealybug Introduced to Grenada in 1994, now present in many parts of the Caribbean (inc. Anguilla) Attacks many valuable crop species including citrus and coconuts How do invasive species reach Agricultural & Commercial imports e.g. goats islands? Still kept as livestock but others now live totally in the wild (feral) Eat native vegetation and trample bird and iguana nests How do invasive species reach Ornamental or landscaping plants e.g. Scaevola taccada Native to Indian & Pacific Ocean coasts islands? Grows fast - has displaced native Scaevola from its natural range on many Caribbean islands How do invasive species reach To control other problem species e.g. cats islands? Introduced by early settlers to control rats and mice, now many feral cats living wild Very effective predators of native wildlife What to do about invasive species? Prevention! Prevent imports of species known or suspected to be invasive Inspection, treatment and quarantine of high-risk imports What to do about invasive species? Early detection Need to educate as many groups as possible to recognise potential invaders Rapid response - develop plan of action in case species is found What to do about invasive species? Eradication or control Biological control - introduction of VERY host specific diseases or predators Chemical methods - e.g. herbicides, rodenticides Trapping - can be effective for large mammals Exclusion - fencing or other physical barriers What to do about invasive species? Legislation & enforcement Need effective laws to deal rapidly with invasive species Restrict import of species that may cause ecological as well as purely economic damage What to do about invasive species? Research & Communication Study effects of invasive species Share knowledge between islands and globally What to do about invasive species? Public involvement Avoid feeding feral animals Encourage spaying & neutering of cats & dogs Discourage abandoning pets into the wild Plant native species as landscaping plants Conclusions Caribbean islands have great biodiversity and are at great risk from invasive species Developing effective responses to invasive species problems will involve international organisations, national governments, NGOs and individual citizens First step is to understand the nature of the problem - different for every island Invasive Species: The Case of Achatina fulica and its impact in Anguilla By Rhon A. Connor Introduction Threats to Biodiversity Habitat loss Degradation Overexploitation Climate Change Invasive species (Biological Invasions) What are Invasive species? National Invasive Species Council (2001) A species that is: Non-native or alien to ecosystem under consideration and Whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm (economic, environmental, human) Current Invasive Species? Cuban Tree Frogs Dirt wasp Mealy bugs and. Welcome to Anguilla Bienvenue!! Origin of the Giant African Snail Introduction of Achatina in Caribbean Guadeloupe 1984 Martinique 1988 Barbados 2000 St. Lucia 2000 St.Maarten 2000? Anguilla 2000? Achatina: When it got Here?? % Year Learned About the GAS Respondents Year No answer How it Got here? Possible Pathways GAS method of arrival **Transported by several methods: Plant trade Deliberate (Food) Exotic animal Container shipment 32% 2% 1% 3% 1% 16% 1% 44% vehicles/containers on blocks/cement imported plants lumber other not applicable don t know no answer Distribution of GAS? Achatina is Here! Is it a problem? Achatina is Here! Is it a problem? Recognized in the top 100 most destructive invasive in the world Herbivore with voracious appetite Feeds on species of plants Extremely high reproductive rate Achatina s impact in Anguilla Agriculture/ Horticulture -feed on various plants species -Spread of fungal and bacterial disease of plants Damage to Crops and/or Plants by 12% 1% GAS 1% 44% 42% Ye s No Don't know Not applicable No answe r Economic Impact Government - control campaign launched by Agriculture Department - price of Methaldehyde bait subsidized Economic Impact Found at: Bait Set For Destructive Snail in Anguilla Workers from the Agricultural Department are setting bait for the Giant African snails that are roaming various areas of Anguilla destroying cultivated plant life and other forms of vegetation. The snails, which are prevalent in the Stoney Ground area, are now spreading to other locations on the island. In some cases they leave unsightly trails on buildings and corrupt water sources around homes. One of the giant African snails There have been many complaints from persons affected by the snail nuisance and some householders have resorted to procuring expensive poisoned bait to deal with the problem. Economic Impact Residents continuously spend funds to control GAS Damage to subsistence farmers crops Financial Losses Due to GAS US$50 21% 14% 35% US$50 - US$100 US$100 - US$150 US$150 - US$200 6% 1% 4% 19% US$200 Not applicable No answer Ecological problems Achatina has potential to out compete other species of snails Has been associated with destruction of native and endemic plants Aesthetics Aggregate in large numbers (Unsightly) Attach to houses (leaving behind feces/slime) Overcrowd gardens Potential to create road block Risk to Humans
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