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Home / Invasive Species Resources

Invasive Species Resources

Provides access to all site resources (alphabetically), with the option to search by species common and scientific names. Resources can be filtered by Subject, Resource Type, Location, or Source.

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Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Recently, the health of coconut palms has come under severe threat. The Pacific Community (SPC), working with Pacific Island countries and territories, and development partners, is looking for ways to meet this threat before it devastates the hopes of economic progress in the region. In August of 2017 an alert was issued identifying a new danger to the Pacific, which is causing devastation to coconut palms and expanding rapidly across the region. The new threat comes from a longstanding adversary in the region: the rhinoceros beetle.

International Maritime Organization.

Amendments to an international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of potentially invasive species in ships' ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (the BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to address this problem. The BWM Convention entered into force in 2017. The amendments formalise an implementation schedule to ensure ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard ("D-2 standard") aimed at ensuring that viable organisms are not released into new sea areas, and make mandatory the Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems, which sets out how ballast water management systems used to achieve the D-2 standard have to be assessed and approved. This will help ensure that aquatic organisms and pathogens are removed or rendered harmless before the ballast water is released into a new location – and avoid the spread of invasive species as well as potentially harmful pathogens.

UNFAO. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
An insect that can infest and damage hundreds of hectares of maize fields, literally overnight, is sweeping across Asia – alarming smallholder farmers and threatening livelihoods – but the damage can be limited, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. Fall Armyworm is native to the Americas. However, since 2016 it has been aggressively moving ever eastwards, sweeping across Africa, and making landfall for the first time in Asia last summer. Fall Armyworm (FAW) was first detected in India in July 2018 and by January of this year, it had spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan Province.

Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced the release of its 2021 Asian Carp Action Plan, a comprehensive portfolio of projects focused on Great Lakes protection.

DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
Provides news updates and other resources

Island Conservation.

Restoring islands through the removal of non-native invasive mammals is a powerful biodiversity conservation tool. This new study now shows that human communities on islands could benefit from restoration actions, which can potentially reduce or eliminate the burden of diseases transmitted to people by invasive species. Simply put, removal of invasive species can benefit human health in addition to ecological health.

CAB International.

In response to the growing threat of invasive species, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has called for urgent action to tackle the global spread of invasive species, even as the recent fall armyworm outbreak casts doubts over Africa and Asia’s preparedness to fight the scourge. The call was made at the 2018 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali, Rwanda, by CABI’s Director General for Development, Dr Dennis Rangi. His announcement follows publication of CABI’s insights paper: Invasive Species: The hidden threat to sustainable development (PDF | 598 KB) at AGRF and this year’s launch of CABI’s Action on Invasives programme.

CAB International.

At its triennial Review Conference of Member Countries in Egham, UK, on 26-27 July, CABI launched a major new initiative to protect vulnerable rural communities in the fight against invasive alien species. Building on its 100-year track record in invasive species management, CABI will deliver a unique global programme to support 50 million vulnerable African and Asian farming families impacted by species that are out of control and threatening their livelihoods. This will link with, and build upon, the highly successful CABI-led Plantwise programme, which has already reached nearly 5 million farmers in 34 countries. Over the coming months and years, CABI will focus on tackling some of the worst alien invaders in Africa and Asia - weeds, insects and diseases that devastate crops and pastureland, as well as deplete the many natural resources on which rural communities rely.

CAB International.

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest's rapid spread across Africa in 2017.

Transport Canada.

Canada's coasts and waterways are vital to our environment, livelihoods, and economy, and must be protected. Ballast water, which helps keep vessels stable in the water, can accidentally introduce and spread aquatic invasive species, like the zebra mussel, if released in the water untreated. To further protect Canadian waters, the Government of Canada is taking action to limit the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in ballast water. Today, the Canadian Minister of Transport announced the coming into force of the new Ballast Water Regulations to strengthen existing rules for vessels on international voyages and the introduction of new rules for vessels which remain in Canada and on the Great Lakes. These regulations, which replace the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations, apply to vessels in Canadian waters and to Canadian vessels anywhere in the world. Vessels are now required to:

  • plan their ballast water management and reduce the number of organisms in their ballast water, typically by installing a ballast water management system; and
  • carry a valid certificate, keep records, and be regularly surveyed and inspected. Smaller vessels may follow an equivalent approach tailored to their operations and size.

For more information, see Managing Ballast Water and Backgrounder: Ballast Water Regulations.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable. Plant health partners in Canada are pleased to announce the establishment of the Canadian Plant Health Council – fulfilling a multi-partner commitment to collaboratively implement the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. The Canadian Plant Health Council will address priorities for the plant health sector, working together on preventive approaches and activities to protect forests, agriculture and other plants from pests, diseases and other risks.

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Urban legends about the origins of canal grass in Panama abound, but the Smithsonian has new evidence that puts the question to rest. Canal grass is an invasive weed, native to Asia. Because its tiny seeds blow in the wind, it readily invades clearings and spreads to form impenetrable stands by budding from tillers and rhizomes. Once established, canal grass is challenging to eliminate.

UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Due to the impact of climate change, plant pests that ravage economically important crops are becoming more destructive and posing an increasing threat to food security and the environment, finds a scientific review released this week. The Scientific Review on the Impact of Climate Change on Plant Pests - A global challenge to prevent and mitigate plant pest risks in agriculture, forestry and ecosystems was prepared under the auspices of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention and is one of the key initiatives of the International Year of Plant Health, which is coming to an end this month. "The key findings of this review should alert all of us on how climate change may affect how infectious, distributed and severe pests can become around the world," said the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu. "The review clearly shows that the impact of climate change is one of the greatest challenges the plant health community is facing," added Qu.

North American Invasive Species Management Association.

A new invasive species coalition is celebrating significant milestones in preventing expansion of invasive species after the first anniversary of an important agreement. The North American Invasive Species Management Association, Wildlife Forever, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to implement on-the-ground strategies to engage the American public and help prevent the spread of invasive species under the new agreement.

Galapagos Conservancy.
The restoration of Pinzón Island continues following the successful rat eradication campaign in December 2012, carried out by the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), in collaboration with Island Conservation and The Raptor Center. In addition to the exciting news of natural recruitment of juvenile tortoises into the population, a potentially new endemic snail species has recently been discovered.

Cornell University. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Cornell Alliance for Science.

Farmers who grow cereal crops in most African countries are all too familiar with the challenges presented by striga, a parasitic plant also known as witchweed that infests farmers’ fields and causes lower yields, or even no harvest at all. Now African scientists are breeding maize that can resist this pest plant as extension agents are offering farmers various solutions for improving yields in areas where the invasive weed is especially prevalent.

University of Guam.

The University of Guam received another round of funding in September under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection Act for the surveying and monitoring of invasive pests of solanaceous crops that are on USDA’s Priority Pest List for 2021. Solanaceae, or nightshades, are a family of flowering plants that include tomato, eggplant, and chili pepper. As part of the national effort this year, UOG was awarded $38,000 to survey and monitor for two pests: Tuta absoluta, which is a moth and type of leafminer capable of destroying an entire crop, and Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2, which is a bacterium, known as a bacterial wilt, that infects through the roots and is deadly to plants.

The work through UOG better prepares the island to manage these invasive species if or when they arrive. "There are certain pathogens and insects that have a reputation of being really bad. These are two of them," said project lead Robert L. Schlub, a researcher and faculty member of UOG Cooperative Extension and Outreach with a doctorate in plant pathology. "They aren’t on Guam, but if they show up, we want to know so we can help get them under control."

UNFAO. International Plant Protection Convention.
You cannot protect the environment without also safeguarding plant health. When plant pests and diseases spread into new areas they seriously damage entire ecosystems, putting at risk biological diversity and the environment itself. Tiny and lethal at the same time, plant pests and invasive alien species have been recently identified as the main driver of biodiversity loss. Pests are also responsible for losses of up to USD 220 billion in agricultural trade each year and the loss of 40 percent of the global food crop production. Climate change is making the situation even worse. It is changing the life cycle of pests – sometimes increasing the number of yearly generations - and creating new niches where they can thrive. For more information see the IPPC factsheet "Plant Health and Environmental Protection (PDF | 1.22 MB)".

European Alien Species Information Network.

Close to 7,000 different species are owned by pet owners across Europe, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish. Some of these pet species are imported from outside Europe and can potentially cause ecological problems if they escape or are released in the environment. The importation of some invasive alien species is prohibited (Council Regulation (EC) 338/97 (PDF | 3.78 MB)) due to their invasive character and the fact that their introduction has an adverse impact on native species. In addition, the Council of Europe has designed a voluntary code of conduct (PDF | 1.92 MB) to raise awareness within the pet industry and among owners and keepers of pets and provide practical guidance to reduce further the chances of pet species becoming invasive in Europe.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The exotic plant pest fall armyworm has been detected for the first time in Australia, in a network of surveillance traps on the northern Torres Strait islands of Saibai and Erub. Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Lyn O'Connell, said the caterpillar stage of the fall armyworm, also known as Spodoptera frugiperda, damages many crops across Africa and Asia vital to human food security, such as rice, maize and sorghum. "Everyone can do their part to protect Australia from biosecurity risks like fall armyworm by being aware of what can and cannot be brought to Australia from overseas or from the Torres Strait region and reporting any unexpected pests, plant matter or soil."

Adult moths of fall armyworm were detected in surveillance traps monitored by the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy. These traps were set up as part of preparedness activities for early detection as fall armyworm is a strong flyer and has been spreading rapidly through Southeast Asia countries in recent months. For more information, see Fall Armyworm and Other Exotic Armyworms from the Australian Department of Agriculture.