Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Application of the socio-economic impact classification for alien taxa (SEICAT) to a global assessment of alien bird impacts.

Abstract

We use a recently proposed framework, the Socio-Economic Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (SEICAT) to undertake the first global assessment of the impacts of alien birds on human well-being. A review of the published literature and online resources was undertaken to collate information on the reported socio-economic impacts of 415 bird species with self-sustaining alien populations worldwide. These data were then categorised following the SEICAT guidelines. Impact data were found for 57 (14%) of the 415 alien bird species in this study. All but two of these species were found to have minor impacts on human well-being. The most significant threat to human well-being posed by alien birds may be associated with their impacts on aviation safety. About two-thirds of the impact data found described agricultural impacts. No data were found describing disease transmission impacts on humans. We lack data for developing regions of the world: this is of concern as alien species can threaten livelihoods in developing countries, particularly by affecting agricultural production and hence food security. Most assessments were allocated a 'Low' confidence score. This may be because SEICAT is a new framework, requiring data on the way in which alien species affect human well-being, as measured by changes to human activities: even where we do have data describing an alien bird impact, information on how profoundly this impact affects people's activities is currently rarely available.