Anguilla, a UK Overseas Territory, is in fact an archipelago of small karst islands, some of which harbour animals and plants that occur nowhere else. As the main island of Anguilla has become increasingly affected by development and the spread of harmful feral and invasive alien species, the offshore islands have assumed growing importance as wildlife sanctuaries and tourist attractions.
The Saint Lucia fer de lance is an endangered pitviper that is widely feared because of its potentially deadly bite. For many years, schoolchildren were erroneously taught that these snakes were brought to Saint Lucia to control runaway slaves. The Saint Lucia fer de lance is in fact unique to this country and rarely bites, but it is often killed on sight and is now listed as endangered.
This project is working to save the Saint Lucia racer, which is probably now the world's rarest snake. Having been wiped out from mainland Saint Lucia, this harmless species is now wholly confined to one nine-hectare island managed by the Forestry Department and Saint Lucia National Trust. Surveys in 2012 estimated there were fewer than 20 individuals on Maria Major island, prompting FFI, Durrell and our national partners to devise a recovery plan that aims to increase the world population to 500 by 2025.
FFI first began working in Saint Lucia in 2000 and provides technical expertise on various aspects of forest management and biodiversity conservation. More than 70% of Saint Lucia is forested and the country supports an incredibly rich diversity of wildlife, a very high percentage of which are island endemics.
Originally named the Antiguan Racer Conservation Project, this award-winning programme was launched in 1995 to save what was then arguably the world’s rarest snake from certain extinction. FFI and its partners have increased the critically endangered Antiguan racer population from only 50 individuals to over 1,100 by removing alien invasive rats and mongooses from more than a dozen islands around Antigua, and through a reintroduction programme and nationwide education campaign.
Nearly 60 km from Antigua, Redonda is a rugged, uninhabited volcanic island with a remarkable history, globally important seabird colonies, and unique flora and fauna, including species still without scientific names. Though the island is unquestionably of high conservation value—the Department of Environment has recommended it be made a protected area—feral goats and thousands of large, predatory black rats had turned much of its surface into a dusty moonscape and even damaged the surrounding marine habitats.
FFI has worked in South Sudan since 2010, but civil conflict meant all conservation initiatives had to be scaled back. In 2013, FFI re-located to south-western South Sudan, to the former state of Western Equatoria; the only region of South Sudan in which eastern chimpanzees, forest elephants and African golden cats exist.
Since 2014, FFI has been working to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource use through supporting the establishment of Community Conservation Areas (CCAs) in the Lake Victoria Basin, Uganda. The project is located on the western fringes of Lake Victoria including sites at Sango Bay and Musambwa Islands in Rakai District.
FFI’s transboundary project incorporates the Ziama Man and Biosphere Reserve in Guinea and the Wonegizi proposed protected area (PPA) and surrounding landscape in Liberia. This area makes up part of the Upper Guinean Forest, a global biodiversity hotspot and home to more than 25% of Africa’s mammals, including the Western chimpanzee, the African elephant, pygmy hippopotamus and other flagship species.
The East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR) was gazetted in 2003, is 11,500 hectares and forms part of the Mount Nimba Range that spans across Liberia, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire. Despite formal gazettement and both its national and international reputation for conservation importance, the reserve continued to lack in active management and protection protocol.