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Plant pest identification services for UK Overseas Territories

Biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) is recognised as being under threat.  Invasive non-native invertebrate pest introductions have an impact on the biodiversity in the UKOTs, with potential threats to forestry, horticulture, agriculture, trade and tourism. It is an issue Fera is helping to address through work funded by the Defra Biodiversity Programme.  Fera entomologists  and consultants in the Plant Protection Programme are providing an invertebrate pest identification service for all UKOTs , and are providing rapid assistance when bio-security threats are detected.

Since the identification service first commenced Fera has identified 184 species of invertebrate from six UKOTs, 42 of those species were never before recorded in the UKOTs and nine were species new to science, such as a tortoise beetle (family Chrysomelidae) a species of Eurypepla from the Cayman Islands. Fera also provided emergency assistance in the form of identifications and technical advice following biosecurity threats faced by two UKOTs during 2011. 

For more information contact:

Chris Malumphy (Project Manager) or Sharon Reid (Project Co-ordinator): ukot@fera.gsi.gov.uk