Ascension - Conservation Priorities

Conservation Policy
  • Strict control measures should be brought in to prevent the introduction of alien animal and plant species to the island.
  • Effective measures should be implemented to control invasive weed species; in particular the Mexican mesquite tree Prosopis juliflora, which is threatening green turtle nesting beaches.
  • Clear policies should be formulated regarding the future of feral animals such as donkeys, sheep and rabbits on the island.
  • An overall plan for development control and conservation management on the island should be formulated. This should include controls on the planting of alien trees and other measures to maintain the quality of the volcanic landscape.
  • A clear coastal and marine conservation policy should be developed.

Existing legislation relating to conservation, wildlife and protected areas should be reviewed in the light of current priorities for ecological restoration.

Protected Areas

The Ascension authorities and the St Helena Government, inconsultation with scientific experts, should take steps to designate terrestrial and marine sites that are priorities for habitat conservation; for example, Mars Bay and Hummock Point Nature Reserves.

Biodiversity (Species)

Restoration of seabird populations should be initiated by an effective cat control programme, as recommended in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded feasibility study report. Rats should also be eradicated as soon as the appropriate bait has been developed for this purpose. Efforts to raise public awareness about the ecology and conservation value of the island should be given continuing support.

Biodiversity (Habitats)

The habitat of the endemic shrimps in Ascension should be fully protected. A conservation policy should be developed to protect the island's terrestrial volcanic caves, which are habitats for specialized cavernicolous arthropods.