Invasive species

Invasive species cause major ecological effects (decimating native flora or fauna populations) as well as economic losses to these islands, across sectors such as agriculture (diseases, weeds and vectors), fisheries (fish diseases and the lionfish), industry (rodents and termites), tourism (roadside weedy species) and public health (mosquitos). The conventions and treaties CBD, IMO, BWM and IPPC call for action to halt the spread of inavasive species.


The Indo-Pacific Lionfish has been introduced in the Caribbean in 1998 and has ever since been advancing throughout the region. Its voracious appetite is a threat to all juvenile reef fish.

Number of Lionfish sightings on St.Eustatius (2011 - 2015)


Native vegetation is in competition with the Mexican Creeper vine also called Corallita. This vine was introduced to Saba and St.Eustatius many years ago as an ornamental species and has become an invasive plant. Native trees are overgrown with Corallita, fences around private houses are torn down by the weight of the vine allowing for roaming animals to enter and destroy yards. Large trees are killed by the vine which grows over and chokes them.

Invasive corallita cover [%] on St.Eustatius (2007 and 2014)