Monserrat - Conservation Priorities

Conservation Infrastructure
The Montserrat National Trust should be given technical assistance with fundraising techniques and strategies.
Conservation Policy
  • The Government of Montserrat should increase its annual subvention to the National Trust, as promised in 1992.
  • Regulations for the protection of watersheds and water sources should be clarified and implemented.
  • Legislation for a national parks system should be passed and should include provision for marine parks.
  • A comprehensive review of conservation legislation should be carried out and legislation recognizing and protecting the biodiversity of Montserrat should be developed and enforced.
  • CITES and Ramsar components should be built into the wildlife legislation.
Education, Training and Public Awareness
  • Workshops for tour guides should be undertaken by both Forestry and MNT staff.
  • The existing public education programme in relation to forests, parks and tourism development should be strengthened.
  • Funding should be sought to implement the strategies currently being developed by the Environmental Education Co-ordinator attached to the Trust.
  • The National Trust should develop an illustrated tourist brochure focusing on common wildflowers and trees, unusual shrubs and vertebrate fauna.
Protected Areas
  • A conservation committee should be established by the Montserrat Government to deal with matters relating to protected areas.
  • Fox's Bay Bird Sanctuary should be listed as a Ramsar site.
  • Information should be collected on the conservation importance of Chances Pond and the Belham River estuary to assess suitability for Ramsar designation.
  • Support should be given to the newly formed MNT Marine Parks Committee, for its objectives of establishing a Marine Park around Montserrat and the erection of moorings in popular dive sites.
  • Other trails suitable for ecotourism should be identified and incorporated into the national parks system.
  • Transportation is needed for proper management of both national park and trail systems.
Biodiversity (Species)

A complete inventory of Montserrat's biological diversity should be developed and published. The inventory should be computerized and a comprehensive bibliography developed. The inventory should be subject to continuous addition and revision. Research programmes should be initiated on the fauna of Montserrat, in particular on the general ecology of Fox's Bay Bird Sanctuary, on the status of the mountain chicken and on the biota of Belham River. Table 11 shows the research requirements at species level.

Table 11. Monserrat: 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 Agouti
Birds Some N A B C D E Montserrat oriole Egret Pearly-eyed thrasher
Reptiles Some N A B C D E Iguana, turtles
Amphibians Very little N   Mountain chicken
Fish Very little N A B C D E  
Terrestrial invertebrates Very little N A B C D E  
Marine invertebrates Very little N A B C D E  
Trees Some N A B C D E Red mangrove
Other flowering plants Very little N A B C D E Heliconia
Non-flowering plants Very little N A B C D E  
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: Montserrat National Trust
Biodiversity (Habitats)
Cleared trails between St Patricks through Galways Soufriere to Tar River Estate, and from Old Fort Point around the South Coast to Tar River Estate should be enhanced and funding should be sought for interpretive signs and trail maintenance. Urgent attention should be given to the problem of beach mining. Ghaut and stream protection should be made the subject of a national campaign. Table 12 indicates the habitat research requirements.
Table 12. Monserrat: 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 R
Other wetlands R R R R R
Other terrestrial habitats R R R R R
Coastal areas R R R R R
Reefs R R R R R
Other marine habitats R R R R R
R, required; -, no response Source:
Source: Montserrat National Trust