David Stanley (CC BY 2.0)
British Wildlife 29.2 December 2017

St Helena: the island of endemics

The UK has over 1,500 endemic species, the vast majority of which are found in its Overseas Territories. One such territory is the tiny, isolated island of St Helena, which alone supports more than 500 endemics. The arrival of humans on St Helena has had a devastating impact on its habitats and species, but work to protect what remains is now underway. Amy-Jayne Dutton introduces the incredible natural history of the island, and describes the recent conservation efforts which are helping to save its unique species.

There are few places in the world that can rival the remoteness of St Helena. Situated in the South Atlantic, more than 1,000 miles from the nearest major land mass, this tiny island is most commonly known for being the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s incarceration. St Helena has far more of interest than just its human history, however, with spectacular scenery, unique habitats and an incredible diversity of endemic species.

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