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Bright Future for One of the World's Rarest Reptiles: The Antiguan Racer

<p> © Fauna & Flora International/photo by Jenny Daltry<span></span> </p>

On Reptile Awareness Day, we're showcasing efforts to bring the Critically Endangered Antiguan racer - possibly the world's rarest snake - back from the brink of extinction.

With support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) through our investment in the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot, the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) worked to eradicate invasive species from the Offshore Islands key biodiversity area in Antigua and Barbuda. This area includes Green Island, where the largest population of Antiguan racers in the world can be found.

Since 2011, the Antiguan racer population has increased by about 20 percent, to 1020 snakes. Natalya Lawrence from EAG describes the connection between removing invasive species to recovering the country's wildlife and boosting nature-based tourism in this interview.

Interview with Natalya Lawrence, coordinator of the Offshore Islands Conservation Programme of the Environmental Awareness Group

Releasing an Antiguan racer in Antigua and Barbuda. © Fauna & Flora International/photo by Jenny Daltry

Green Island. © Fauna & Flora International/photo by Jenny Daltry

Natalya Lawrence in Antigua and Barbuda. © Fauna & Flora International/photo by Jenny Daltry

Green Island has become a popular venue for tourists. © Fauna & Flora International/photo by Jenny Daltry Established in 2000, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global leader in enabling civil society to participate in and influence the conservation of some of the world's most critical ecosystems. CEPF is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.