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In Ivan's Wake: a Darwin Initiative Biodiversity Action Plan for the Cayman Islands - COMPLETED (2008)

Documenting key endemic, threatened and invasive taxa and producing a Biodiversity Action Plan for the Cayman Islands

Monitoring the endemic Agave caymanensis growing in Caribbean dry forest on Grand Cayman (Photo: Colin Clubbe)

The main purpose of this highly collaborative three-year Darwin funded project was to produce a sound, government endorsed and realisable Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for the Cayman Islands following the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 (reef damage, loss of natural vegetation, pollution and loss of infrastructure). Integral to this aim were substantial elements of: biodiversity mapping of marine and terrestrial habitats based on remotely sensed imagery; research into key endemic and threatened taxa, invasive species; institutional capacity building; and environmental awareness activities for the general public and key stakeholder groups.

Major botanical outputs were:

  • Updated maps of key terrestrial habitats and key species, including invasives;
  • Invasive plant species collection, identification, mapping and recommendations incorporated into the BAP for their mitigation;
  • Working with local groups to help identify suitable species for establishment in a native species nursery. A native species nursery was established at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. The original concept for the nursery was developed while the QEIIBP deputy manager participated in the International Diploma in Botanic Garden Management course at Kew in 2006;
  • Training provision for and establishment of a seed collecting programme;
  • Raised awareness of the importance of native plant diversity by giving talks, interviews and writing articles;
  • Publication of Threatened Plants of the Cayman Islands Red List (co-funded by OTEP)

Project partners and collaborators

Cayman Islands
The Department of Environment, Government of the Cayman Islands
National Trust for the Cayman Islands
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Marine Turtle Research Group, University of Exeter in Cornwall (Darwin Project lead)
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)



Project funders

The Darwin Initiative - Project No. 14/051
Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) for Red List 


Annex material

Published papers

Maunder, M., Leiva, A., Santiago-Valetin, E., Stevenson, D., Acevedo-Rodriguez, P., Meerow, A., Mejia, M., Clubbe, C. & Francisco-Ortega, J. (2008). Plant Conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. The Botanical Review 74, 197-207

Clubbe, C. & Hamilton, M., & Corcoran, M. (2010). Using the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation to Guide Conservation Implementation in the UK Overseas Territories. Kew Bulletin 65: 509-717.

Conference papers and reports

DaCosta-Cottam, M. (2010). Invasive species: awareness-raising and education – getting rid of stuff that people like, with little or no money. pp 282-284 in Making the Right Connections: a conference on conservation in UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and other small island communities, Grand Cayman 30th May to 5th June 2009 (ed. by M. Pienkowski, O. Cheesman, C. Quick & A. Pienkowski). UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum,

Torres-Santana, C.W., Santiago-Valentín, E., Leiva Sánchez, A.T., Peguero, B. & Clubbe, C. (2010). Conservation status of plants in the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Hotspot. Proceedings of the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress, June 2010.

Other materials

Darwin Initiative Newsletter Spring 2006; Spring 2007; Autumn 2007; Spring 2008