PILN

The Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN) serves teams of Pacific Island agencies responsible for invasives management, including agencies responsible for agriculture, international trade and other economic interests, as well as conservation and natural resource management. PILNs mission is to empower effective invasive species management through a participant-driven network that meets priority needs, rapidly shares skills and resources, provides links to technical expertise, increases information exchange, and accelerates on- the-ground action.

Indicators for tracking conservation efforts at a global scale are rare but important tools for understanding trends and measuring progress towards global conservation targets. Eradication of invasive species from islands is an increasingly used conservation intervention in countries and territories around the world. With a goal of collating these efforts, the Database of Islands and Invasive Species Eradications (DIISE) holds records of the location, target species, year and outcome of invasive mammal and bird eradications on islands from around the world.

We are on the edge of the sixth mass extinction on Earth. Islands represent ca. 5% of the earth’s land area yet are home to 61% of extinctions in the past 500 years, and currently support 39% of critically endangered species. Invasive species are a leading cause of extinction and endangerment on islands. Invasive vertebrates, particularly mammals, are among some of the most damaging invasive species on islands. Eradicating invasive mammals is an increasingly utilised conservation tool.

The 16 UK Overseas Territories (OTs) together account for 94% of the UK’s unique biodiversity and make a significant contribution to global biodiversity. Being predominantly islands, the OTs are very vulnerable to the introduction of potentially harmful invasive non-native species, and pressures are increasing with the continual growth of international trade and impact of climate change. Biosecurity is acknowledged as the most cost-effective means of addressing invasive species threats for small islands, and yet the OTs face many challenges in the implementation of biosecurity controls.

Invasive species, particularly animals, are being eradicated from islands at ever more ambitious scales. In order to protect island biodiversity and the essential ecosystem functions that it provides, however, plant invasions should be given more management attention. While many advances have been made, plant eradication is inherently more difficult than animal eradication due to persistent seed banks, and eradication may not be possible for more extensive populations.

Work is based around country visits by the network coordinator to support PILN teams to identify and take strategic action to manage their priority invasive species. The network is functioning by sharing awareness of successful activities being earned out by the teams, providing the mechanism for other teams to do the same, and actively encouraging them to do so.

The Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII) is a sister partnership based at Auckland University which shares 6 partners with PILN. The goal of the PII is to contribute to conserving island biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of island livelihoods by minimizing the spread and impacts of invasive species in the Pacific region. This is achieved by increasing support and developing capacity in the region for managing the impacts of these species.

The electronic newsletter of the Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN)-reporting on invasives news from PILN teams and the Pacific region

The electronic newsletter of the Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN) - reporting on invasives news from PILN teams and the Pacific region. Past issues are available online.