Alien species are plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms that have been transported across ecological barriers such as mountain ranges, or oceans as a result of human intervention, and have become established in an area outside their natural range.
About a quarter of these species are brought into Europe intentionally, but most arrive by accident. There are currently more than 12 000 alien species in the European environment. In their new environment, some spread rapidly and become invasive alien species (IAS), causing significant damage to biodiversity, human health or the economy. Roughly 10-15 % of alien species arriving in Europe eventually become invasive.
These species are a major cause of biodiversity loss, and they can also cause significant damage to human health and the economy. Examples include the American bullfrog, allergy-causing ragweed and musk rats that damage infrastructure.
Invasive alien species are estimated to cost EUR 12 billion annually in health care and animal health costs, crop yield losses, fish stock losses, damage to infrastructure, damage to the navigability of rivers, and damage to protected species.
The list published by the European Commission includes 23 animals and 14 plants*.
Species on the list will now be subject to the restrictions and measures set out in the EU Regulation on invasive alien species. These include restrictions on keeping, importing, selling, breeding and growing. Member States will also be required to take measures for early detection and rapid eradication of these species, and to manage species that are already widely spread in the territory of some Member States.
Sooner or later Pest Managers will have to become involved in managing these species as it is very likely that over time many governments will back down from dealing with the issues this represents thus presenting obvious opportunities for the well prepared Pest Management Operator.
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Amur sleeper Perccottus glenii
Asian hornet Vespa velutina
Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis
Coypu Myocastor coypus
Fox squirrel Sciurus niger
Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Indian house crow Corvus splendens
Marbled crayfish Procambarus spp.
Muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesii
North american bullfrog Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus
Pallas’s squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus
Raccoon Procyon lotor
Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii
Red-eared terrapin/slider Trachemys scripta elegans
Ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Sacred ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Siberian chipmunk Tamias sibiricus
Signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus
Small Asian mongoose Herpestes javanicus
South American coati Nasua nasua
Spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus
Topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva
Virile crayfish Orconectes virilise
American skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus
Asiatic tearthumb Persicaria perfoliata (Polygonum perfoliatum)
Curly waterweed Lagarosiphon major
Eastern Baccharis Baccharis halimifolia
Floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides
Floating primrose willow Ludwigia peploides
Green cabomba Cabomba caroliniana
Kudzu vine Pueraria lobata
Parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum
Persian hogweed Heracleum persicum
Sosnowski’s hogweed Heracleum sosnowskyi
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora
Whitetop weed Parthenium hysterophorus