The UK's Wildlife Overseas: a stocktake of nature in our Overseas Territories
The first stocktake of the wildlife of our amazing Overseas Territories has revealed that they hold 94 per cent of all known unique British species.
- Compile the first ever stock-take of species in our island Overseas Territories
- Ascertain the number of unique British species which occur in the Territories
- Discover the proportion of OT species which have had their conservation status assessed for the IUCN Red List
- The OTs hold at least 1,500 endemic species, compared to around 90 endemic species in the UK. This is equivalent to 94 per cent of known endemic British species.
- Much of the endemic OT fauna and flora is threatened, although only 145 species (9 per cent) have ever had their global conservation status assessed. Of these, 111 (77 per cent) are listed as Globally Threatened on the IUCN Red List.
- A few exceptions apart, we have limited knowledge about OT biodiversity (species presence, distribution, population size and conservation status). Particularly lacking information are: marine biodiversity; invertebrates; non-vascular ('lower') plants; lichen and fungi.
- We estimate that the island OTs still hold:
- around 50,000 unrecorded species
- around 2,100 undiscovered endemic species
- To date the lack of current knowledge of biodiversity in the island OTs has impeded conservation efforts. The results from this study are a vital step to address this issue strategically.