Biosecurity

St. Helena Island, 122 km2 (47 sq. miles) is a UK Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic. It is a remote volcanic island situated in the sub-tropics 1,127 km (700 miles) from Ascension Island and 2,736 km (1,700 miles) from South Africa. Its resident population of ca. 4,500 is serviced by a single supply ship which visits up to 25 times a year. Isolation has acted historically as a natural barrier to pest arrival and border control has followed the conventional practice of protecting agricultural interests through restrictions on fresh produce, plant materials, livestock and pets.

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.

Barrow Island, north-west coast of Australia, is one of the world’s significant conservation areas, harboring marsupials that have become extinct or threatened on mainland Australia as well as a rich diversity of plants and animals, some endemic. Access to construct a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, Australia’s largest infrastructure development, on the island was conditional on no non-indigenous species (NIS) becoming established. We developed a comprehensive biosecurity system to protect the island’s biodiversity.

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.

The impacts of house mice (Mus musculus), one of four invasive rodent species in New Zealand, are only clearly revealed on islands and fenced sanctuaries without rats and other invasive predators which suppress mouse populations, influence their behaviour, and confound their impacts. When the sole invasive mammal on islands, mice can reach high densities and influence ecosystems in similar ways to rats.

Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten human livelihoods and biodiversity globally. Increasing globalization facilitates IAS arrival, and environmental changes, including climate change, facilitate IAS establishment. Here we provide the first global, spatial analysis of the terrestrial threat from IAS in light of twenty-first century globalization and environmental change, and evaluate national capacities to prevent and manage species invasions. We find that one-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in