Conservation in the UK Overseas Territories
The 19 UK Overseas Territories are home to a wealth of endemic flora and fauna that includes some 200 species of plants, 16 birds, over 20 reptiles and 500 invertebrates in a diverse range of fragile habitats and ecosystems
Knowledge of the biodiversity of Overseas Territories is still largely incomplete and much baseline taxa research is needed to inform conservation management strategies.
ZSL is a founding member of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum - a consortium of the UK’s principal conservation NGOs that helps advance governmental and NGO action on behalf of the Overseas Territories and strives to directly support conservation initiatives on the ground.
Fieldwork in this regard has centred on the ancient endemic invertebrate fauna of the South Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena. This has included investigations into the decline and extinction of the St Helena giant earwig Labidura herculeana and the ground beetle Aplothorax burchelli - both victims of habitat loss and introduced predators.
Work has also focused on St Helena’s many surviving endemic invertebrates, including the spiky yellow woodlouse Laureola atlantica, and their associated habitats.