DFW Invasive Species

Who We Are

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The vision expressed in this website is a framework for the development of a coordinated strategy to manage invasive species in the United States Virgin Islands. The damage caused by non – native invasive species to biodiversity, infrastructure, and the local economy is costly and affects each one of us. No single entity is able t o address all of the actions necessary to effectively prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species. Effective management requires a comprehensive collaborative and committed approach across federal and local government agencies, in the private sector, and throughout our local communities within the U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands Early Detection and Rapid Response Network (VI-EDRR) seeks to meet this need as a collaboration between local entities, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community stakeholders to identify, track, and manage invasive species in the USVI. This network is being initiated by DPNR Division of Fish and Wildlife and supported by DOI Office of Insular Affairs, under the Technical Assistance Program.


The goal of the VI-EDRR is to coordinate a strategy for controlling and eradicating invasive species and preventing potentially harmful species from entering the US Virgin Islands. In achieving this goal, the primary tasks of the VI-EDRR will be to share information and expertise, respond to public concerns and queries, and track occurrences of illegal, or nuisance, wildlife throughout the VI. Specific tasks for members of the network will be to direct occurrences to the responsible agency, log incidents into a central repository, and educate the public through the regular course of members’ work duties.

The intent of the US Virgin Islands Invasive Species website is to take a first step towards a successful VI-EDRR by providing VI citizens with the best available information for invasive species management. This website will not only allow for worldwide access to information on invasives in the US Virgin Islands but serve as a managment tool and data repository for the VI-EDRR Network. This site will provide a reporting mechanism and regular updates on invasive speices in the USVI for the pulblic to use. In time, this site can be used as a training and engagement tool for education outreach for those both in and out of VI-EDRR.
Relevant legislation


The principal U.S. Virgin Islands legislation is non-specific to invasives but is specific to invasive-related issues, to include legislation established to govern Aquatic Species Protection; Indigenous, Endangered, and Threatened Fish, Wildlife and Plants; the Importation of Snakes; and related to Quarantine Regulations for Animals. That legislation includes:

Title 7 V.I. Code Chapter 13 Subchapter II

“Virgin Islands Native Aquatic Species Protection Act”, enacted to establish, maintain, and support, by appropriations to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), efforts to develop strategies to protect Virgin Islands native aquatic species through control of invasive species and other methods, thus benefitting our aquatic ecosystem and our economy.

Title 12 V.I. Code Chapter 2 Sections 101-107 Indigenous, Endangered, Threatened . . . Plants and Wildlife

Sec. 105(c) No person may ship, transport, or export any specimen of an endangered or threatened species, or parts or produce thereof, whether for sale or not, unless such person holds a valid federal permit in the case of a federally listed species, or a valid territorial permit in the case of an exclusively territorially listed species.

Sec. 105(d) states that “It shall be unlawful for any person to import or introduce, or cause the importation to the United States Virgin Islands of any species of plant or animal which does not naturally occur in the Territory without express written permission of the Commissioner [of the V.I. Department of Agriculture].”

Title 14 V.I. Code Chapter 7 Section 192 Importation of Snakes

10 192 (a) Whoever imports into the Virgin Islands any snake of any kind, without the prior written permission of the Department of Agriculture, shall be fined not more than $ 500. (b) Whoever willfully frees within the Virgin Islands any snake of any kind shall be fined not more than $ 500.

Title 19 V.I. Code Part VII Chapters 63 and 65 Sections 2301 and 2501 Veterinary Services & Quarantine Section

2301 (a) The Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized, in accordance with law, to establish veterinary inspection services for the supervision and control of the admission into and the exportation from the Virgin Islands of animals and animal products from and to other United States territory, to operate animal terminals and depots established by the Government of the Virgin Islands, and to prescribe, with the approval of the Governor, rules and regulations and fees with respect to the foregoing services, terminals or depots.

Section 2501 The Commissioner of Agriculture may issue quarantine regulations to prevent the importation into the Virgin Islands of diseased or infected animals and animal products, including poultry and poultry products, and may issue all necessary regulations for inspection to effect the object herein specified.