A framework for the identification of Invasive Alien Species of EU concern

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are considered to be one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, particularly through their interactions with other drivers of change. There are around 12,000 IAS within EU territory, of which 1,500 have negative impacts on the environment, economy and society as a whole, and they are thought to cost EU over 12 billion € a year. There are a number of international agreements that recognise the negative effects of IAS and reflect the growing concerns of many people.


American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), invasive to Europe

At the EU level, the European Commission published in 2013 a proposal for a Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. The proposal is for three types of interventions: prevention, early warning and rapid response, and management. A list of invasive alien species of Union concern will be drawn up with Member States using risk assessments and scientific evidence.

To support the EC Regulation, the European Commission commissioned the project Invasive Alien Species – A framework for the identification of invasive alien species of EU concern. This project is led by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and is implemented in collaboration with other organisations, including the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) and the IUCN European Union Representative Office in Brussels.

The purpose of the proposed study is to provide an up-to-date critical review of available IAS risk analysis methodologies and use this, coupled with expert opinion, to inform the development of minimum standards necessary to ensure effective risk assessment methods for IAS. The proposed methods will be of value for the development of an initial list of IAS of EU concern including species that are already established within the EU.

Read more about the project here.

Work area: 
Invasive species
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