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.
Our actions to restore the offshore islands have also triggered exponential increases in many other endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna within Antigua’s North East Marine Management Area, which has in turn become one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Today, FFI continues to provide training and support to Antiguans and Barbudans to achieve the common goal of ‘healthy, functioning coastal ecosystems that are sustainably managed for the conservation of native wildlife and for the benefit of local people’. Following Hurricane Irma in 2017, the programme team extended its expertise and support to the people and wildlife of Barbuda.
We are grateful for financial support from U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service – Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act; Sandals Foundation; Global Environment Facility; Disney Conservation Fund; Caribbean Natural Resources Institute.
Almost 8,000 species of fish, amphibian, reptile, mammal and bird are officially categorised as globally threatened, and over 9,600 tree species are in danger of extinction.
The Antiguan racer has experienced one of the most remarkable comebacks in conservation history. It was once dubbed the world's rarest snake, but numbers have increased more than 20-fold since 1995.