Anguilla coast line

Anguilla is one of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean. It consists of the main island of Anguilla, together with a number of uninhabited smaller islands and cays. Dry scrub landscape Anguilla itself is a flat coral limestone island, the highest point reaching only 65 m. The island has a dry, tropical climate which is moderated by trade winds. Rainfall averages 90 cm per year with September and October being the wettest months.

The vegetation of Anguilla is largely determined by the low rainfall and substrate which comprises limestone rock pavement and thin gravelly soils. The most luxuriant vegetation is dry thicket with some emergent trees reaching a maximum of 10 m in more sheltered locations. In drier situations and where browsing by goats is extensive, dry scrub predominates. In protected places, most notably in the western end of the island, there are small stands of dry forest. There are approximately 320 plant species in Anguilla, however, 200 of these are non-native. One endemic species occurs on the island, Rondeletia anguillensis, a shrub in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). Anguilla is also home to two Caribbean endemic genera; Dendropemon (1sp.) and Hypelate (1sp.).

Feral live stock grazing native habitat MSc student collecting Rondeletia anguillensis

Much of Anguilla's native vegetation is highly degraded due to unsustainable tourism and housing development which, is perhaps the greatest threat to the island's indigenous plant species and their habitats. Large areas of climax vegetation are becoming increasingly modified, fragmented and continue to deteriorate. Overgrazing by feral livestock (goats) and competition from alien invasive weed species compound the issue further.

Red Listing

A recent collaboration between RBG, Kew and Anguilla's Department of Environment (DoE), supported a MSc project which focused on the study of the endemic Rondeletia anguillensis. This work has provided an up-to-date distribution map for the endemic species and the necessary data to formally assess the species for inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Further botanical studies are urgently needed in Anguilla for conservation assessments and priorities to be established. Following this work, the existing plant species check list needs to be updated and subsequently, a red list must be produced for the island.

© Copyright Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Anguilla's Department of Environment (DoE)

Kew's UK Overseas Territories team collaborates with the Anguilla Government, Department of Environment on plant conservation activities.

Progress in implementing the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Targets

  • Target 1
  • Species checklist complete
  • Target 2
  • 1 species listed as globally threatened; Red List evaluation in progress
  • Target 3
  • No current activity
  • Target 4
  • Co-ordinated internationally
  • Target 5
  • Important Plant Areas not yet identified
  • Target 6
  • Lacking necessary data to report on target
  • Target 7
  • Lacking necessary data to report on target
  • Target 8
  • No current activity
  • Target 9
  • No current activity
  • Target 10
  • Key invasive species identified
  • Target 11
  • No plant species in international trade
  • Target 12
  • Lacking necessary data to report on target
  • Target 13
  • List of known medicinal plants and their uses complete
  • Target 14
  • No current activity
  • Target 15
  • Completion of training of Anguilla Dept of Environment (DoE) staff in botanical identification; inventory, monitoring and data analysis techniques, and herbarium curation. Provision of training for a seed collecting programme
  • Target 16
  • Strong international partnerships between Anguilla National Trust, DoE, and RBG Kew

    Please use the links below to see further details on conservation activities in the UK Overseas Territories

    Ascension Island


    British Antarctic Territory

    British Indian Ocean Territory

    British Virgin Islands

    Cayman Islands

    Falkland Islands



    Pitcairn Islands

    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

    Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus

    St. Helena

    Tristan da Cunha

    Turks and Caicos Islands

    Homepage of the UKOTs Online Herbarium

    Site published by
    UK Overseas Territories Science Team, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
    Please cite as
    UKOTs Online Herbarium (2011). Published on the internet at (date accessed).
    For further information
    Please contact Kew UKOTs Team

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