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Cayman Islands National Biodiversity Action Plan 2009 3.S.1.

4 Coastal Species - Plants Inkberry

Rev: 19 March 2012


Inkberry / Bay Balsam Scaevola plumieri (L.) Taxonomy and Range Kingdom: Plantae, Division: Magnoliophyta, Class: Magnoliopsida, Order: Asterales, Family: Goodeniaceae Genus: Scaevola, Species: plumieri The genus Scaevola contains more than 80 species (Proctor 2009). Two species occur naturally in the West Indies, one widespread the other Cuban. Inkberry Scaevola plumieri is distributed in coastal areas throughout Florida, the West Indies, the Caribbean coast of Central America, and the coast of tropical Africa (Proctor 2009). Inkberry is indigenous to the three Cayman Islands. In 2008, one large specimen and three small specimens were known to exist on Grand Cayman, at Anchor point (Barefoot Beach Gardens). A large intact stand is located at Point of Sand, Little Cayman. Three small specimens were recently discovered on Cayman Brac. Status Distribution: Coastal pan-tropical. Conservation: Critically endangered CR A1abce; B1ab (i,ii,iii,iv,v) (The Red List, Burton 2008a).
For Reference and Acknowledgement: Cottam, M., Olynik, J., Blumenthal, J., Godbeer, K.D., Gibb, J., Bothwell, J., Burton, F.J., Bradley, P.E., Band, A., Austin, T., Bush, P., Johnson, B.J., Hurlston, L., Bishop, L., McCoy, C., Parsons, G., Kirkconnell, J., Halford, S. and Ebanks-Petrie, G. (2009). Cayman Islands National Biodiversity Action Plan 2009. Cayman Islands Government. Department of Environment. Final Formatting and production by John Binns, International Reptile Conservation Foundation.

Section: 3.S.1.4 Coastal Species - Plants - Inkberry

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Legal: Inkberry Scaevola plumieri currently has no legal protection in the Cayman Islands. Pending legislation, it would be protected under the National Conservation Law (Schedule II.). The Department of Environment would be the lead body for legal protection. Natural History Inkberry Scaevola plumieri grows at the top of sandy beach and cobble, on the seaward edge of coastal shrubland, attaining a height of 1.5m. This habitat is under pressure from beach front development, and subject to competition from the invasive landscaping staple Scaevola sericea. The native Inkberry S. plumieri is distinguished from the invasive S. sericea, having generally thicker, fleshier leaves, and the inkyblack fruit from which it takes its local name. In comparison, the invasive S. sericea produces copious white fruit. Associated Habitats and Species for Inkberry ASSOCIATED HABITAT PLANS 2.S.2 Sandy Beach and Cobble 2.S.4 Invasive Coastal Plants 2.S.5 Coastal Shrubland Current Factors Affecting Inkberry Restricted habitat: surviving specimens appear confined to the narrow band of low tropical / subtropical perennial forb vegetation at the pioneering seaward edge of the permanent vegetation line. Habitat loss: beach-front habitat is a prime site for real estate development. New development is generally accompanied by site clearance and exotic landscaping. Storm: the pioneering seaward edge of the permanent vegetation line is naturally susceptible to impact from high seas. Genetic bottleneck: in the Cayman Islands, the remnant population of Scaevola plumieri is currently known only from a few fruiting individuals, generally of low fecundity. Invasive species: potential for reestablishment of native flora is limited by aggressive exotic colonisers in coastal areas, particularly Weeping Willow Casuarina equisetifolia, Colubrina asiatica, Wild Tamarind Leucaena leucocephala and Beach Naupaka Scaevola sericea. Landscaping potential: the attractive form of Scaevola plumieri, coupled with its extreme tolerance of salty and sandy conditions make Inkberry suitable for landscaping, including coastal restoration. Trials at Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, however, have shown it to be difficult to propagate under artificial conditions. Limited seed source is a major issue restricting conservation propagation. Opportunities and Current Local Action for Inkberry None. SPECIES ACTION PLAN for Inkberry OBJECTIVES 1. Reverse population decline of Scaevola plumieri and raise Red List status by at least one category, from critically endangered. 2. Preserve in situ populations of Scaevola plumieri. 3. Develop inter-situ cultivation and conservation programme for Scaevola plumieri. TARGET 2015 2015 2012 ASSOCIATED SPECIES PLANS Broadleaf Cordia sebestena var. caymanensis Tea Banker Pectis caymanensis Cocoplum Chrysobalanus icaco

Section: 3.S.1.4 Coastal Species - Plants - Inkberry

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Inkberry PROPOSED ACTION Policy & Legislation PL1. Pass and implement the National Conservation Law. PL2. Implement the Endangered Species (Trade & Transport) Law. PL3. Protect Scaevola plumieri under Schedule II of the National Conservation Law, through establishment of conservation regulations. PL4. Develop and implement importation ban and local commercial propagation ban on Scaevola sericea. PL5. Promote amendment of the Planning Law, to facilitate rapid imposition of stop-orders on illegal developments and provide a responsive and effective enforcement mechanism. PL6. Enforce provisions under the National Conservation Law to support Planning Legislation and reduce incidents of illegal sand mining. PL7. Strengthen the Development Plan on Grand Cayman, incorporating a long-term vision for the environmental, social, and economic development of the Islands. PL9. Promote establishment of a Development Plan for the Sister Islands, incorporating a long-term vision for the environmental, social, and economic development of the Islands. SM1. Establish local in situ and inter-situ conservation propagation programmes.




MEETS OBJECTIVE 1,2,3 1,2 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2 1,2 1,2



2006 2006 2006 2010 2010 2008 ongoing



Safeguards & Management QEIIBP DoE RBGK OS 2010 1,2,3

SM1. REPORT: Initial attempts to propagate S. plumieri from seed mostly unsuccessful, due to root rot, 2007. Cuttings, tissue culture and in situ propagation to be investigated. SM2. Establish local conservation propagation programme and introduce Scaevola plumieri to private gardens and landscaping schemes through the Native Tree Nursery. SM3. Active planting in conjunction with eradication of invasive flora from key areas, commencing with protected areas e.g. Barkers. SM4. Implement associated HAPs. Advisory A1. Promote use of native plants in landscaping, through maintenance of existing vegetation and use of Recommended Planting Palette in new developments. A2. Recommend importation / propagation / landscaping ban on invasive flora, including Scaevola sericea. A3. Targeted awareness of the need for the National Conservation Law and the Endangered Species (Trade & Transport) Law. A3. REPORT: Extensive public outreach Mar-Sept 2010 Research & Monitoring RM1. Continue current efforts to survey local specimens of Scaevola plumieri. DoE 2009 1,2 DoP DoE DoA DoE DoE LCN CIG NT 2009 2009 2006 1,2,3 1,2 1,2,3 QEIIBP DoE RBGK 2008 1,3

SM2. REPORT: (2012) Native Tree Nursery operations temporarily suspended. Sales insufficient to cover running costs. DoE DoE DoA PCRU 2014 2015 1,2 1,2,3

RM1.REPORT: Three small, non-bearing specimens were discovered at Anchor point, Grand Cayman, Jan 2008. All four known Grand Cayman specimens are currently located within a 250m strip of beach at Barefoot Gardens, North Side. Three small specimens were discovered in Cayman Brac, Jul 2008, of which at least two survived hurricane Paloma, Nov 2008. RM2. Instigate island-wide 5-yearly mapping of Scaevola sericea. DoE 2010 1,2

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Inkberry PROPOSED ACTION RM3. Monitor and assist reestablishment of Scaevola plumieri in protected areas. RM4. Reassess IUCN Red List status of Scaevola plumieri locally. RM5. Research and test improved cultivation techniques for Scaevola plumieri.



TARGET 2015 2015




Communication & Publicity CP1. Raise public awareness of the value of native landscaping, and promote the use of Scaevola plumieri. CP2. Utilise native flora and fauna, and associated preservation efforts, in the international promotion of the Cayman Islands. CP3. Raise public awareness of invasive species, particularly Scaevola sericea, and promote the Natural Heritage of the Cayman Islands. DoE DoP NT QEIIBP CIG MP CN GC OS SB LCN DoE DoT NT MP QEIIBP DoT CIG NT MP QEIIBP 2010 1,2,3






Reference and Futher Reading for Inkberry

Burton, F. (2007). Wild Trees in the Cayman Islands (2nd edition). International Reptile Conservation Foundation, USA. ISBN 978-1-4276-2168-9 Burton, F.J. (2008a). Threatened Plants of the Cayman Islands: The Red List. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Richmond, Surrey UK. Burton, F.J. (2008b). Vegetation Classification for the Cayman Islands. In: Threatened Plants of the Cayman Islands: The Red List. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Richmond, Surrey UK. Proctor, G.R. (1984). Flora of the Cayman Islands. Kew Bulletin Additional Series XI. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Her Majestys Stationary Office. London. ISBN 0-11-242548-8. Proctor, G.R. (2012) Flora of the Cayman Islands. Kew Publishing. 736 pp. ISBN: 9781842464038 Sauer, J.D. (1982). Cayman Island seashore vegetation: A study in comparative biogeography. Geography, 25:1-137. University of California.

Section: 3.S.1.4 Coastal Species - Plants - Inkberry

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