Situated approximately 50 km from Antigua, Redonda is a rugged, uninhabited volcanic island with a remarkable history, globally important seabird colonies and unique fauna and flora. In 2016, Fauna & Flora and partners began taking steps to restore Redonda’s extraordinary biodiversity, resulting in astounding changes to the island.
Though Redonda is unquestionably of high conservation value, feral goats and thousands of large, predatory black rats had turned much of its surface into a dusty moonscape and left the surrounding marine habitats damaged. Following a series of feasibility studies and consultations to determine what must be done to save Redonda’s biodiversity, in 2017 Fauna & Flora and our partners eradicated the rats and relocated the feral goats to Antigua. The island started to spring back to life incredibly quickly: in the space of just two years, 15 species of land birds returned to Redonda and numbers of the Redonda Ground Lizard increased eight-fold.
Today, we are working to solidify and build on the success of the original eradication work. Along with implementing biosecurity measures to limit the risk of any reinvasions, we are working on eradicating invasive plants, monitoring the very rapid recovery of native species, exploring the feasibility of reintroducing native species, conducting marine monitoring and surveillance, and establishing a major new protected area that will cover the island, its surrounding seagrass meadows and a largely intact 180 km2 coral bank. The new Redonda Ecosystem Reserve is largely unexplored but believed to contain at least 30 globally threatened and near-threatened species.