Jamaica Flag Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and West of Hispaniola. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean and has an area of 10,990 square kilometers (4,243 square miles) and a total coastline of 1,022 kilometers (634 miles). There are 336,000 ha of forest which provides habitat for biodiversity especially endemic plants and animals. It is estimated that there are at least 3,304 species of vascular plants in Jamaica of which 923 or 27% are endemic including 22 species of Bromeliads, 60 species of orchids, 67 species of ferns, 10 species of cacti, 7 species of palms and 1 species of grass. The species diversity among terrestrial vertebrates is varied with 67 species of land birds, 39 species of shore and seabirds and 22 species of amphibians. It is also estimated that among invertebrates there are 133 butterflies, 48 fireflies, 26 jumping spiders, 59 ants and 514 land snails. Jamaica has a rich diversity of marine animals including 572 species of fish, 8 species of black corals, 64 species of stony corals, 43 species of soft corals, 32 species of sharks and rays, 6 species of sea turtles, 455 species of crustaceans, 825 species of molluscs and many marine mammals including whales, dolphins and manatees. Marine plant species in Jamaica are dominated by 3 species of seagrasses and 386 different macro-algal species including calcareous algae. Jamaica\’s freshwater species are not as diverse as the terrestrial or marine species animal species include 4 endemic freshwater fish, 2 families of shrimp and the endemic freshwater turtle. Freshwater plant species are understudied as a group but are known to include 2 freshwater plants. There is also 1 freshwater mammal. Jamaica has over 1,000 caves as a result of its limestone structure. These caves are home to a number of species such as endemic bats, crabs, crayfish and a species of Onychophorian. The Island of Jamaica is ranked 5th among Islands in the world in terms of plant endemism.

Contact Person(s):

Mrs. Shelia Harvey

Chief Plant Quarantine Inspector

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries 

Hope Garden, Kingston, Jamaica

Tel: 977 0637 / 977 6401      Fax: 977 6992

Email: syharvey@moa.gov.jm


Invasive Alien Species List:


Materials and Resources:

See: Jamaica's Draft NISS

See: Jamaica's Project Profile - MTIASIC

Battle Lionfish: Read more

Scotiabank Launches Lionfish Project: Scotiabank Lionfish Project

Aliens of Xamayca: See Newsletter

Outline of MTIASIC Lionfish Project: Lionfish Pilot Project

Don't Pack a Pest Initiative: Don't Pack a Pest

Lionfish Numbers Trending Down: Western Mirror-Montego Bay, Jamaica


Work being done in Jamaica:

The Pet Trade Pathway Toolkit – Jamaica

This Pet Trade Pathway Toolkit is the first output under Jamaica’s 2014-2020 National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (NIASSAP). It was developed through a multi-stakeholder consultation process, and is intended for use by the government in cooperation with partners in the private and non-profit sectors. Although the primary motivation for the Toolkit is […]

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National Invasive Alien Species Strategy & Action Plan (NIASSAP) – 2014-2020

Invasive alien species (IAS) are alien (non-native) species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity. They are among the top drivers of biological diversity loss worldwide and place substantial constraints on sustainable development. The National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (NIASSAP) aims to guide the work of the government of Jamaica and collaborators […]

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The Jamaican Iguana Pilot Final Report 2014

Following another successful campaign during the 2011-2012 period, the JIRG once again recorded a record year for recovering the Critically Endangered Jamaican iguana during the 2012-2013 period. Most notably, we recorded another record year for females nesting at the primary communal nesting sites — 53! This represents a 6-fold increase over the original (core) nesting population documented in […]

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