Within the Wildlife and Countryside Link Invasive Non-Native Species Working Group, we are raising awareness of the impacts INNS have on our wildlife. This blog post is one of five from different member organisations that will go on the Wildlife and Countryside Link website during Invasive Species Week. We are all focusing on issues close to the heart of the organisation we work with so it is probably no surprise that I want to concentrate on advancing the evidence of INNS since I work for the British Ecological Society.Finding existing evidence:
Another important element of our work at the British Ecological Society is helping to bridge the gap between applied ecological research and practical environmental management. Our Journal of Applied Ecology includes a Practitioners Perspectives section which provides an important platform for individuals involved in hands-on management of ecological resources, such as the eradication or control of INNS. It allows them to present their personal views on the direction of applied ecological research. These short articles aim to be thought provoking and challenge the science community to consider, for example, the perspectives of those individuals working on the ground to eradicate INNS. This is an avenue that provides an opportunity for environmental NGOs and practitioners engage with, challenge and advance the evidence of INNS.
Making research more applied:
There are opportunities for researchers to gain more information to help identify how to make their science more applied. The Convention on Biological Diversity remains an important international treaty for the UK. We are signed up to Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 that states that "by 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment." Therefore, it helps to align research with the Convention on Biological Diversity Guiding Principles and in particular the priorities of INNS prevention which include the pathways through which INNS enter the country, improving biosecurity measures, and raising awareness of INNS. Improving the evidence underpinning methods of early detection and ensuring appropriate rapid response techniques once an INNS has been detected is vital; as is the rehabilitation and long term management of sites or species. The GB Non-Native Species Strategy and its publically available implementation plan sets out the CBD principles and is a useful document to use to align research within an applied framework in Britain.
I hope this post gives some helpful information in improving the links between the research community and practitioners as well as helping researchers know where to go to help make their research more applied. However, I am happy to discuss this further if anyone is interested.
The opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.
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