Collating and publishing datasheets on impactful invasive species
Invasive species are of significant concern to ecosystems. They are a key driver of global biodiversity loss and species extinctions. Together with climate change, invasive species are causing irreversible damage. Without any mitigation, the spread of invasives will continue and the persistent damaging effects will increase. Having current and comprehensive data on the most harmful and impactful invasive species is necessary for predicting and preventing damage. This project will collate data and information on 72 invasive species threatening species on the Endangered Species Act and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
So, what’s the problem
Invasive species are significant drivers of global biodiversity loss and species extinctions. But when combined with climate change, they become two of the most pressing anthropogenic global changes threatening ecosystems today.
Increasing evidence shows that climate change will interfere with processes underlying biological invasions. There is a scientific consensus that climate change will affect the range, abundance, and impacts of invasive species globally. Without mitigation, the challenges we face through the persistent spread and impacts of invasive species will increase.
The 2023 Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) states that invasive alien species cause dramatic and, in some cases, irreversible changes to nature across all regions of Earth.
- 60% of global extinctions have been caused, solely or alongside other drivers, by invasive alien species
- 16% of global extinctions have been caused solely by invasive alien species
- 1,215 documented local extinctions of native species have been caused by invasive alien species
- 85% of documented impacts on nature are negative
To address the problems of invasive species and to ensure that limited resources are focused where they have the most impact, it is imperative that comprehensive, up-to-date information is made available to policymakers, research scientists, risk assessors, other biosecurity practitioners and competent authorities.
What is this project doing?
This project will collate data and information on some of the most impactful invasive species and make them freely available to those stakeholders.
In a previous series of projects (the most recent completed in 2018 – Invasive species data), CABI published datasheets on over 300 invasives impacting species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the USA.
The goal of this project is to document further invasive species affecting threatened species in the USA and worldwide.
In 2021, the US Fish and Wildlife Service updated its list of endangered and threatened species, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also revised its Red Book. Our focus will be on invasive species impacting species newly added to the ESA and IUCN lists. The project will create new or update existing datasheets, covering 72 invasives affecting species on IUCN’s Red List (46) or under-listed under the ESA (26).
CABI is partnering with a consultancy in Puerto Rico, Effective Environmental Restoration (EER) to deliver the project. CABI will commission, process, and publish 28 out of 72 datasheets of invasive species impacting threatened species listed through the ESA or in the IUCN Red List. Some of the invasive species covered include Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Newcastle disease virus, Scolopendra morsitans, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and Yersinia pestis.
EER will manage the compilation of 44 datasheets by a team of consultants. CABI will edit and publish these datasheets in the CABI Compendium Invasive Species channel.
We are in the process of commissioning experts to write datasheets, whilst other datasheets are in the more advanced stages of compilation.