invasive alien species of European Union concern
The 37 species that have been listed meet the criteria set out in Article 4 of the Invasive Alien Species Regulation, which relates to their invasiveness and ability to establish in several Member States. The validity of the evidence supplied against each of the criterion has been established by scientifically robust risk assessments, and approved by a Committee of Member State representatives. All 37 species will now be subject to the Restrictions set out in Article 7 of the Invasive Alien Species Regulation. These include restrictions on keeping, importing, transporting, selling, exchanging, breeding, growing or releasing to the environment. More information about what these restrictions mean can be found on the GB non-native species secretariat’s website.
Over the next 18 months management measures will need to be developed for these 37 species of union concern and we will aim to work closely with Defra and the non-native species secretariat for those species of particular interest to the UK.
It is also important to note that this list of 37 species is a starting point and the list will be regularly updated as Risk Assessments are completed and potentially damaging species are identified. Therefore, there is still work to be done to ensure the list of union concern truly reflects the scale of problematic invasive alien species.
What does this mean in light of Brexit?
The EU Regulation on invasive alien species (IAS) came into force on 1 January 2015, and at its core is taking a preventative approach to invasive alien species with the development of the list of IAS of Union concern (i.e. the list coming into force today). The Invasive Alien Species Regulation will continue to apply while the UK remains a member of the EU. Therefore, this includes the restrictions and the requirement to work cooperatively with EU member states.
Even if the UK does leave the EU, the Invasive Alien Species Regulation may be converted into UK legislation. This is something we are going to be strongly pushing for. If not? We in the Link Invasive Non-Native Species working group are preparing for how invasive alien species legislation should work in England. We are looking at it with a clean slate and this does have its positives. Whatever the outcome for the IAS Regulation, it is clear that we will need to continue to work closely with neighbouring countries to prevent the inflow and outflow of invasive alien species.
 LIST OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES OF UNION CONCERN (03.08.2016)
Plants: American Skunk cabbage; Asiatic tearthumb; Curly waterweed; Eastern baccharis; Floating pennywort; Floating primrose; Green cambomba; Kudzu vine; Parrot’s feather; Persian hogweed; Water hyacinth; Water primrose (2 species); Whitetop weed
Animals: Amur sleeper; Asian hornet; Small Indian mongoose; Bryant’s fox squirrel; Chinese mitten crab; Coypu; Eastern crayfish ; Grey squirrel; Indian house crow; Marbled crayfish; Muntjac deer; North American bullfrog; Pallas’s squirrel; Racoon; Red eared slider; Red swamp crayfish; Ruddy duck; Sacred ibis; Siberian chipmunk; Signal crayfish; South American coati; Topmouth gudgeon; Virile (northern) crayfish
Senior Policy Officer, British Ecological Society
Find BES on Twitter @BESPolicy
The opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership
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