Cayman Islands - Conservation Priorities

Conservation Infrastructure
[No current entry]
Conservation Policy
  • Current attempts to revise the 1997 Development Plan for Grand Cayman, and to institute Development Plans for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, should progess beyond the simple land-use plans which have been in effect to date, and evolve into full plans to guide the Cayman Islands towards truly sustainable development.
  • Results from the NTCI's biodiversity survey should be developed into a national protected area plan, available in digital form on the CIG's land information system.
  • The fundamental review of environmental legislation being conducted by the Department of Environment should be carried forward as a high priority, with full participation from all parties affected (including the non-governmental sectors).
  • Updated February 2000
[No current entry]
Education, Training and Public Awareness
  • The National Trust should continue to draw public attention to environmental issues of concern, and should make relevant factual information widely available to stimulate informed public debate.
  • Government and the National Trust should collaborate to support the development of ecotourism attractions in non-environmentally sensitive areas; promote public education about the benefits of ecotourism and review its own properties in relation to ecotourism.
  • Confirmed February 2000
Protected Areas
  • Regulatory and funding mechanisms should be urgently explored with a view to achieving substantial protection for Grand Cayman's Central Mangrove Wetland, including Ramsar designation. Further ecological survey of the wetland and the adjacent Little Sound Environmental Zone should be undertaken to aid in the development of a wise-use policy and management planning for this area.
  • Meagre Bay Pond should be formally designated as a Ramsar site and the Eastern Wetlands, Tarpon Lake and Wearis Bay should be designated as animal sanctuaries. When legally protected, the latter three should be added to the Ramsar list.
  • The National Trust should continue to expand its system of terrestrial reserves, through solicitation of private land and financial donations for land purchase, transfer of appropriate Crown and unclaimed lands, and further improving the basis for selection and prioritization of conservation lands through biodiversity mapping.
  • Updated February 2000
Biodiversity (Species)
  • The National Trust should be supported in continuing its conservation programme for the Cayman Brac Parrot, carrying out regular population censuses of both Cayman parrot subspecies and promoting research on other endangered fauna, flora and habitats.
  • The National Trust should seek funding to continue its conservation programme for the two subspecies of endemic rock iguanas.
  • The feasibility of control of invasive species in sensitive areas on all three islands should be assessed, and implementation pursued where appropriate.
  • An assessment should be conducted on the conservation status of the indigenous bat species. This should include investigating the role of frugivorous and nectivorous bats in the ecology of native woodlands and identifying options available to reduce conflict between local fruit farmers and fruvigorous bats.
  • Updated February 2000
  • Table 5 shows the requirements for research at species level.
Table 5. Cayman Islands: Species Information Requirements
Species group Level of research to date Information available on conservation status Activities required Priority species
Mammals Some Y B C D E Bats
Birds Extensive Y C D E Dendroica vitellina Amazona leucocephala
Reptiles Extensive Y C D E Cyclura nubila Tropidophis camanensis
Amphibians Extensive N    
Fish Some N B C D Brackish/freshwater species and exploited marine species
Terrestrial invertebrates Some N A B D  
Marine invertebrates Some Y A  
Trees Extensive Y D Once-exploited timber trees, e.g. Cedrela, Terminalia
Other flowering plants Extensive Y D E Endemics with restricted range
Non-flowering plants Very little N A B 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, Cayman Islands


Biodiversity (Habitats)
  • The National Trust and the Department of the Environment should collaborate to map and describe biodiversity in natural and modified habitats throughout the Cayman Islands and to monitor trends of habitat conversion. All information relevant to national conservation planning and implementation of international conservation legislation should be collected.
  • Confirmed February 2000
  • Table 6 shows habitat research requirements.
Table 6. Cayman 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 R
Mangrove - R R R R
Other wetlands - R R R R
Coastal areas R R R R R
Reefs - - R - R
Other marine habitats - - - - R
R, required;
-, no response
Source: National Trust, Cayman Islands