Invasive species - Management

Invasive species (non-native, harmful organisms) undermine human health and safety, food and water security, and economic development. Consequently, invasive species can have significant socio-economic impacts and warrant attention as a public policy priority. Trade and travel are the primary drivers of biological invasion both into and within the United States and prevention measures have been identified as the most cost-effective means of minimizing the introduction and thus impact of invasive species.

Islands house a majority of the world’s biodiversity and are thus critical for biodiversity conservation. Seabird nesting colonies provide nutrients that are integral to maintain island biodiversity and ecosystem function. Invasive rats destroy seabird colonies and thus the island ecosystems that depend on seabird-derived nutrients. After rat eradication, it is unclear how long ecosystem recovery may take, although some speculate on the order of centuries. I looked at ecosystem recovery along a chronosequence of islands that had 12–22 years to recover following rat eradication.

The West Coast Ballast Outreach Project works collaboratively with partnering organizations throughout the West Coast and Pacific Basin in the development of outreach programs and tools to manage aquatic invasive species (AIS) and ballast water issues. Initiated in 1999 and funded by the National Sea Grant College Program and the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, the project places a priority on facilitating communication and cooperation between private industry, regulators, and researchers concerned with ballast water and AIS management.

One of the most severe threats to Protected Areas around the globe is invasive alien species. IAS are non-indigenous species that may spread quickly and aggressively when introduced by humans to areas beyond their normal ranges and can decrease native biodiversity and cause dramatic environmental changes. In fact, IAS are widely recognised as posing threats to biological diversity second only to direct habitat loss and fragmentation, and have been implicated in the decline of endangered species worldwide.