Ascension Island – natives and aliens

This mini-documentary explores the extreme fragility of the ecosystem of Ascension Island, a UK Overseas Territory in the Atlantic. We find a unique species of shrimp that occur in tiny brackish pools and occur no where else on Earth. On other parts of the island, unique ferns and other plants are endemic to tiny niche habitats. Such localised species are very vulnerable to change. Major impact arrived in the form of an extraordinary experiment undertaken by Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin that aimed to create an artificial rainforest to capture water from the oceanic winds. Today complete unnatural man-made forests dominate the slopes of the tallest peak and have altered the ecological landscape of the island with major impacts on the native ferns and land crabs.

Britain’s Treasure Islands mini-documentaries

A series of short documentaries designed for on-line release exploring the wildlife, cultures and history of the UK Overseas Territories.

This film is one of forty mini-documentaries made from the footage not used in the broadcast series.

Visit to view all 40 mini-documentaries free of charge.

Please note: although complementary to the BBC FOUR series, the 40 short mini-documentaries are not commissioned or editorially overseen by BBC.

To discovery the wildlife, history and cultures of all of the UK Overseas Territories, please visit