EEA Report Highlights Impacts of Invasive Alien Species in Europe

EEA20 December 2012: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a report on the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) in Europe, aiming to raise awareness and inform all stakeholders, including the general public about the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of IAS.

Circulated as EEA Technical report no. 16/2012 and produced jointly with the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, the report focuses on the multifaceted impact of IAS. It provides 28 dedicated species accounts to highlight the various effects of IAS, without neglecting the benefits of these species. Threats highlighted include competition, predation and transmission of diseases between alien and native species, the hybridization of alien and native species, and the impacts on ecosystem services, agriculture, human health and infrastructure. The report also provides scenarios where the increased and global movement of people and goods may significantly increase the number and impacts of harmful IAS in Europe. In addition, climate change may produce new opportunities for IAS to proliferate and spread.

The report suggests that the best way to deal with IAS is through a combination of preventive measures, early detection and rapid response to new incursions, with permanent management only as a last resort. [Publication: EEA Technical Report No. 16/2012: The Impacts of Invasive Alien Species in Europe]