CABI has announced the launch of its invasive species Horizon Scanning Tool (beta), a decision support aid to help users identify potential invasive species threats to a country, state or province. The tool is supported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Gareth Richards, CABI’s Compendium Programme Manager, said, ‘Risk assessors, plant protection officers, quarantine officers, protected area managers and researchers will find that the invasive species Horizon Scanning Tool provides a quick and user-friendly means of accessing a large volume of relevant data for categorizing and prioritizing potential invasive species.’

Information from the CABI Compendia datasheets is used to generate a list of invasive species that are absent from the selected ‘area at risk’ but present in ‘source areas’, which may be relevant because they are neighbouring countries, are linked by trade or transport routes, or share similar climates. The list of invasive species can be filtered using various criteria (e.g. pathways, habitats and taxonomy) to focus on sets of potential invasive species that may require more detailed risk assessment, surveillance, public awareness or direct action to prevent their introduction and spread.

Gareth continued ‘there are two versions of the invasive species Horizon Scanning Tool available; a free version for users of the open-access Invasive Species Compendium and a premium version for subscribers to CABI’s Crop Protection Compendium. The free version is immediately accessible via the link The tool currently has open beta status for early use while enhancements to the content and interface continue. We look forward to receiving feedback from the users and to further developments during 2018.’

The Horizon Scanning Tool links to corresponding invasive species datasheets. Where a full datasheet is available, information is provided on detection and identification, means of entry, requirements for establishment and spread, and documented negative impacts (required for horizon scanning), and also methods for prevention and control (for response planning). The list can be output to a CSV file for analysis outside the Compendium.

All users can access the filters (for pathways, habitats and taxonomic group), view the full species results list, output a CSV file of the results, and open the Invasive Species Compendium datasheets to access further information. The premium version provides two extra filters (for plant hosts and for plant parts in trade) and links to additional pest datasheets from the Crop Protection Compendium.

About CABI

CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Our 48 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include International Development and Publishing. CABI produces key scientific publications, including CAB Abstracts and Global Health. We also publish multimedia compendia, books, eBooks and full text electronic resources aiming to further science and its application to real life. CABI invests its publishing surpluses directly into development projects, helping to improve livelihoods worldwide.

We gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our member countries (and lead agencies) including the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate-General for International Cooperation, Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), and the United States (United States Department of Agriculture). Other sources of funding include the fees paid by our member countries and profits from our publishing activities which enable CABI to support rural development and scientific research around the world.

About the Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) & Crop Protection Compendium (CPC)

The ISC and CPC are time-saving, encyclopedic, mixed-media tools that draw together scientific information on all aspects of their intended coverage.

The ISC covers known invasive species, any place in the world, of all taxa, affecting natural and managed ecosystems, except human pathogens, and concentrates on those species that have the greatest impacts on livelihoods and the environment.

The CPC features extensive global coverage of pests, diseases and weeds, their natural enemies, the crops that are their hosts, and the countries in which they occur.

There is some overlap in coverage between the two compendia; both the ISC and CPC cover plant pests and weeds that are recognized as ‘invasive’ (simply put; that show a propensity to be transported by humans and to establish, increase in numbers and cause damage in non-native areas). However, the coverage of crop pests, diseases and weeds is much more comprehensive in the CPC.

The ISC is free to use, whilst the CPC is accessible by subscription. For more information see

For all our latest news