Invasive species spread around the globe has increased in the past 200 years, indicating a need for enhanced biosecurity.

Read the article on the Island Conservation website :

From Sarah Kaiser – 26, april 2017

The impacts

The spread of invasive species has serious consequences for the environment, agricilture, and human health.

Invasive species impacts on ecosystems can be profound, and left unchecked, lead to extinction of native wildlife.

Island species are particularly vulnerable–they often evolve with limited competition or threats from predators and are thus often not adapted to defend themselves against predatory invasive species such as feral cats or rats.


Young Fatu Hiva Monarch (French Polynesia) critically threatened by rats and feral cats ©Robert Luta

No saturation

A new study in the scientific journal Nature Communications “No Saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide” reveals that current laws and regulations are not enough to slow down the rate of non-native species introductions.

According to this novel study, the rate of new species introductions globally has increased in the last 200 years.

The continuous increase in first record rates suggests that the numbers of new alien species will most probably further increase, as current tools to prevent biological invasions are not effective enough to slow down the ever-increasing alien species numbers.

See the world map of invasive species here :
Threatened Island Biodiversity Database Partners. 2014. The Threatened Island Biodiversity Database: developed by Island Conservation,University of California Santa Cruz Coastal Conservation Action Lab, BirdLife International and IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group. Version 2014.1 . Downloaded on December 2015.
The online Threatened Island Biodiversity database was built with the support of The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Global Environment Facility.

The pathways
The authors wrote:

« The pathways by which alien species are introduced into new areas are also changing rapidly, in particular through increased global trade, tourism, agriculture, horticulture, and the construction and formation (for example, through climate change) of new transportation corridors, such as the opening of the Arctic Ocean shipping routes.

Future threats due to alien species may be greatest in emerging economies due to these factors.

Although deleterious impacts caused by alien species have been recognized widely in legislation, there is an urgent need to implement more effective prevention policies at all scales, enforcing more stringent national and regional legislations, and developing more powerful international agreements. »


[warning] As highlighted by the mid-term analysis of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2020, current efforts are still largely inadequate to reduce the accumulation of alien species. [/warning]