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Biodiversity Strategy and Delivery Plan

Managing our Natural Wealth, The Isle of Man’s First Biodiversity Strategy, 2015-2025

This Strategy maps out how government, businesses and people can give our Island’s biodiversity the best chance of flourishing.

The strategic aims are:

  • Managing biodiversity changes to minimise loss of species and habitats.
  • Maintaining, restoring and enhancing native biodiversity, where necessary.
  • Involving society in understanding, appreciating and safeguarding biodiversity. 

The Isle of Man’s Biodiversity Strategy considers the future of our environment and its biodiversity so that the Island’s healthy productive land and rich sea will not be lost to future generations. The Strategy focuses on three categories of biodiversity: species native to the Island, those which spend part of their lives here and worldwide biodiversity which is affected by us and how we live. It will be accompanied by a Biodiversity Delivery Plan. 

The Strategy’s seven objectives:

  • Raising public awareness and strengthening the relationship between people and nature so that we can all learn to appreciate, understand, protect and conserve our island environment and its biodiversity.
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the abundance and distribution of wildlife to help identify species or habitats that need our help.
  • Conserving and looking after special places for wildlife on land, in freshwater and in the sea.
  • Ensuring that Government’s activities and decisions respect biodiversity while ensuring economic well-being.
  • Reducing other impacts on biodiversity such as pollution and invasive non-native plants and animals.
  • Promoting and demonstrating good stewardship and management of our natural resources on land, in freshwater and in the sea.
  • Putting the Strategy into action by implementing a Delivery Plan and starting a series of Biodiversity Action Plans by 2015. 

The Isle of Man Biodiversity Strategy will be used to influence and guide Government, farmers, fishers and landowners, the business sector and wider public, to manage our natural wealth. This will enhance our Island’s reputation, improve our economy, create employment opportunities and increase our knowledge of Manx biodiversity. 

Biodiversity on and around the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is rich in wild habitats on land and in the sea, each one supporting interesting wildlife from the most common to the most rare.

Rare and threatened species, including basking sharks and hen harriers, have a stronghold here. The Island has some very scarce species including the lesser mottled grasshopper on Langness and the scarce crimson and gold moth on the Ayres. Ballaugh Curragh is an internationally important wetland. The Calf of Man is widely known for its Bird Observatory. Its surrounding waters are good for fishing and diving. Specialities on the Ayres National Nature Reserve include the lichen heath and little terns, a sea bird rare throughout Britain. The Ramsey Bay Marine Nature Reserve protects horse mussel reefs, maerl beds– (red seaweed with a hard chalky skeleton) and seagrass or eelgrass, (an underwater grass). Distinctive local varieties such as the Manx codling apple and Loaghtan sheep add to our diversity. 

Why is biodiversity important on the Isle of Man?

Biodiversity is important for a range of environmental, economic and social reasons.

Biodiversity underpins our existence. The production of food, fuel, air and clean water rely upon a healthy, biodiverse natural environment. It is relevant to all aspects of life, from schools to businesses, villages to coastlines. Research shows that our health and wellbeing are enhanced by contact with nature.

Biodiversity supports our economy. Nearly 230,000 visitors come to the Island each year drawn by our beautiful, wildlife-rich landscapes, bringing revenue and securing local jobs. The diverse island environment and our care of it, benefits our reputation and the marketing of our farmed and fished produce.

Biodiversity gives us a sense of place. Our social and cultural heritage is tied to the landscape around us, shaped by our hands over generations. The wildlife we see today is a direct result of thousands of years of human interaction with the local landscape and coast. It is a valuable part of our Manx heritage. 

Living in the Isle of Man we can appreciate our beautiful countryside and varied wildlife it supports.

What work is being carried out to deliver the Strategy?

The IOM Government is working to deliver the actions in the Strategy and also recognises the invaluable work that is undertaken by charities, organisations and individuals with an interest in the Island's wildlife and natural heritage.  In August 2020 a mid-term audit of the work undertaken during the first five years of the Strategy was compiled.  This document is downloadable from the right of this page.

If you would like to report or discuss work that you or your organisation is involved with that delivers any of the actions of the Strategy then please get in touch with the Ecosystem Policy Team by emailing

Biodiversity Delivery Group

At the beginning of 2021 the Department established a Biodiversity Delivery Group to promote the delivery of the Biodiversity Strategy actions within:

  • the organisations they represent;
  • the Government;
  • the wider community.

The Terms of Reference and minutes from meetings are available to view from the downloadable documents list.

The Group is responsible for writing and reviewing the Delivery Plan for each financial year. In 2021-22 there were 156 tasks, of which, by end March 2022, 43 were complete (blue), 55 in progress (green), 51 ongoing/on track (orange) and only 6 not started (red). The Delivery Plans are available to download from this page. The Plan for 2022-23 will be uploaded shortly.

Biodiversity Action Plans

Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) have been written for a number of habitats and species, and can be downloaded from this page. Further BAPs are in development. They are produced by the BAP Leaders Group consisting of representatives from Manx Bird Life, Manx Wildlife Trust, IOM Fungi Group, Manx Bat Group, IOM Farming and Wildlife Group, Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch, Manx National Heritage and DEFA officers, as well as independent specialists, with interests in insects and mammals.

BAPs are also being drafted for:


  • Basking Shark
  • Common seal
  • Grey Seal
  • Elasmobranches (small sharks)


  • Anthill pasture
  • Species-rich grassland
  • Marshy grassland

For further information please email

In addition to BAPs, DEFA also supports the Manx Wildlife Trust's 'Action for Wildlife' which is a suite of projects undertaking practical action to save vulnerable species and habitats. For information see Action for Wildlife | Manx Wildlife Trust.

Biosphere Vannin LogoUNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

Action 13 of the Biodiversity Strategy relates to the Island's achievement of Biosphere status.  This was achieved in 2016.   UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man assists with the delivery of Objective 4 which states 'Community engagement and understanding: By 2025 everyone will understand what biodiversity is, why it is important to our quality of life and will have been empowered to use it more sustainably'.

To find out about the Biosphere Vision and Strategy and the five Es of Economy, Enjoyment, Environment, Engagement and Education see here: UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man - Biosphere

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