Wire wist (Metastelma anegadense)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 14258944
Mapping the distribution and recording threats to the Critically Endangered vine, Metastelma anegadense (Apocynaceae) in the British Virgin Islands
This project took place during June and July 2014 on Anegada, one of the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands lie within the Caribbean and are part of the Puerto Rican Bank. The main species of focus was Metastelma anegadense, in the Apocynaceae family. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Imperial College, London worked with the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands to map the species and record threats to its habitat. This work gathered together the necessary data to produce updated distribution maps and modeled species niche maps. The results of this project will enable conservation and management planning for the species and its habitat. Survey data will also be used to undertake a reassessment of the species for the IUCN Red List.
The main findings of the project are summarised as follows: Metastelma anegadense has previously been assessed as Critically Endangered based on Criteria B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1 (Clubbe, Pollard, Smith-Abbott, et al., 2003). A larger number of individuals have been found outside the preferred dune habitat in the current study therefore expanding the AOO of the species; however, due to the identification of the island as a single location and the threat of habitat loss the species remains assessed as Critically Endangered based on Criteria B1ab(iii) ver 3.1 (Linsky, 2014).
During the botanical and habitat survey on Anegada, Metastelma anegadense seeds were collected and have been deposited in the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. This is the first seed collection for the species ever made.
The MSc thesis entitled 'Distribution and Conservation of Threatened Plant Species on Anegada, British Virgin Islands' submitted by Jean Linsky is available online.
Project 14258944 location - British Virgin Islands, North America