South Atlantic invasive species project

RSPB worked with the five UK Overseas territories in the South Atlantic, to build capacity to deal with the negative impacts of invasive species.

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RSPB worked with the five UK Overseas territories in the South Atlantic to build capacity to deal with the negative impacts of invasive species.
Invasive alien species are the leading threat to endemic birds, plants and invertebrates in the UK’s Overseas Territories (UKOTs). The South Atlantic UKOTs are all small islands with small populations and limited resources to deal with these threats themselves. The project involved provision of resources, training and manpower to kick-start activities related to control of invasive species. Plans and strategies were developed to encourage continuation of this work after the project ends and give a foundation for a regional approach to invasive species work.


  • To increase regional capacity to reduce the detrimental impacts caused by invasive species in the South Atlantic Overseas Territories.

Key Dates

  • 1 December 2006 - project started
  • 14-19 May 2009 - regional project meeting
  • 30 December 2009 - project ended

Planned Work

The project has now finished. However, RSPB is still undertaking work related to invasive species - see our projects on St Helena, Ascension Island, Henderson, Gough and Tristan da Cunha for more information.


  • Island-wide botanical surveys completed on St Helena and Ascension, resulting in rediscovery of the Bulbostylis neglecta, an endemic sedge which had not been seen for 200 years.
  • Island surveys in the Falklands, finding new populations of Cobb’s wren, a Falklands endemic.
  • Funds have supported fox surveys in the Falklands, botanical surveys on Tristan da Cunha and garden plant surveys in the Falkland Islands.
  • Training has been delivered on Ascension, the Falklands, and Tristan da Cunha
  • Invasive species education materials have been developed in the Falkland Islands
  • Territory staff visited New Zealand to learn about aerial eradications and restorations from the Pacific Invasives Initiative and IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group.
  • Training for border/quarantine staff took place in the Falkland Islands
  • Island-wide botanical surveys took place on St Helena and Ascension
  • Baseline surveys of plants and invertebrates took place on South Georgia
  • Management plans for key invasive plant species are under development for St Helena and Ascension
  • Support is being given to work to eradicate rats and foxes from islands in the Falklands
  • A programme to eradicate wavy bittercress has started on South Georgia
  • A review of Territories' legislation relating to invasive species was completed


The project was funded by the European Commission through EDF-9:  The total funding for the project was around €1.9 million.


PDF, 312Kb. The South Atlantic Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan was developed following a regional meeting on Ascension Island in June 2009. The document sets out priority actions related to invasive species management for the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories. 3 March 2011

South Atlantic Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan


Coast on a stormy day

Clare Stringer

Head of Globally Threatened Species Recovery Unit, RSPB
Tagged with: Country: Ascension Island Country: Falkland Islands Country: International Country: Saint Helena Country: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Country: Tristan da Cunha Habitat: Marine and intertidal Project status: Complete Project types: Advocacy Project types: Education Project types: Organisation development Project types: Site protection Project types: Species protection