Eastern Scrub Island

BVITIPA004
Scrub island

Country: British Virgin Islands

Administrative region: Scrub Island (Island)

Central co-ordinates: 18.46830 N, 64.50981 W

Area: 0.72km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species, B(ii)Site contains an exceptional number of species of high conservation importance

IPA assessment rationale

This island didn’t qualify under the threatened habitat criteria for TIPAs despite having large areas of the nationally threatened Coastal shrubland and some areas with Dry salt flats and Mangroves, as these habitats were better represented in other islands. However, it did qualify for the presence of globally threatened and rare plants.

Site description

This TIPA is located on Scrub Island, east of the isthmus, in an area also known as Big Scrub. This side of the island is mostly undeveloped, and several plant species of high conservation importance have been recorded.

Botanical significance

This TIPA is one of 5 best sites nationally for the Puerto Rican Bank endemics Agave missionum (VU) and Malpighia woodburyana (VU), commonly known as century plant and mad dog, respectively. The century plant is under severe threat in the BVI as the species is being attacked by the non-native agave snout weevil, resulting in plant death in large numbers. Many healthy agave individuals have been recorded within this TIPA, making it an important site for the species. Other plant species of high conservation importance grow in this TIPA, mainly in the Seasonally deciduous forest and woodland which cover more than half of the island. They are the Virgin Islands endemic Croton fishlockii (NT), found growing in the central area of the TIPA and north towards Gravel Bay Point, and the Puerto Rican bank endemic orchids Psychilis macconnelliae (NT) and Tolumnia prionochila (NT).

Habitat and geology

The TIPA have large areas of the nationally threatened Coastal shrubland and some areas with Dry salt flats and Mangroves. Seasonally deciduous forest and woodland habitat cover more than half of the island.

Conservation issues

Future development is a threat to this TIPA as the island has been subdivided into lots and could result in habitat loss and population declines of its rare and threatened plants.

Site assessor(s)

BVI TIPAs National Team, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; National Parks Trust of the Virgin islands; BVI Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration

IPA criterion A species

Species Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 1% of global population ≥ 5% of national population 1 of 5 best sites nationally Entire global population Socio-economically important Abundance at site
Agave missionum Trel. A(i) False False True False False
Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi A(i) False False True False False

Agave missionum Trel.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
True
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Bibliography

The BVI TIPAs National Team, 2019

Identifying and Conserving Tropical Important Plant Areas in the British Virgin Islands (2016-2019): Final Technical Report

Available online

Recommended citation

BVI TIPAs National Team (2021) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Eastern Scrub Island (British Virgin Islands). https://tipas.kew.org/site/eastern-scrub-island/ (Accessed on 13/06/2021)

Acknowledgement

Map of the BVI TIPAs Network available from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World