Turks and Caicos Islands - Conservation Priorities

  • A review of TCI's environmental legislation needs to be carried out, in order to identify gaps with a view to modernisation and expansion of existing conservation legislation
  • Public awareness of conservation legislation should be encouraged by the production of an explanatory booklet on the legislation affecting wildlife and national parks of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Education, Training and Public Awareness
  • A sustainable public and schools education programme should be initiated, to raise and promote environmental awareness throughout the Islands.
  • The wise and sustainable use of the coastline and coastal wetlands should be promoted through land-use planning and development controls.
Protected Areas
  • The UK Government should provide practical assistance to the Turks and Caicos to meet the conservation objectives of the designated Ramsar site.
  • Priority wetland sites outside the Ramsar boundaries should be designated as national parks.
  • An international whale sanctuary should be established in TCI territorial waters.
Biodiversity (Species)

Background research is needed to locate the scattered biodiversity information that exists outside Turks and Caicos. Collation of the data, mainly collected by outside researchers, should be available for use in the Islands. Table 15 summarizes the research requirements at species level.

Table 15. Turks and Caicos Islands: Species Information Requirements
Species group Level of research to date Information available on conservation status Activities required Priority species
Mammals Some N A B C D E  
Birds Some Y C D E Kirkland's warbler, Flamingos, Nesting seabirds
Reptiles Some Y A B C D E Rock iguana
Amphibians Some N A B D  
Fish Some Y A  
Terrestrial invertebrates Very little N A  
Marine invertebrates Some Y A  
Trees Some N A B C D  
Other flowering plants Some N A B C D  
Non-flowering plants Very little N A B C D  
A, Preparation of a species inventory; B, Survey of the geographical distribution of species; C, A detailed ecological survey of selected species; D, Assessment of conservation status of species; E, Regular monitoring of species.
Source: National Trust, TCI
Biodiversity (Habitats)

A detailed survey of all terrestrial habitat types currently outside the protected area system should be undertaken in the Turks and Caicos. Table 16 summarizes the habitat research requirements.

Table 16. Turks and Caicos Islands: Habitat Research Requirements
Habitat Vegetation mapping Listing of sites Detailed survey of selected sites Assessment of habitat for conservation purposes Regular monitoring of habitat
Woodland R R R R -
Mangrove - - R R R
Other wetlands R R R R -
Other terrestrial habitats R R R R -
Coastal areas R R R R R
Reefs R R R R R
Other marine habitats - - R R -
R, required;
-, no response Source: National Trust, TCI