Invasive Alien Species in the Mediterranean
Across the Mediterranean basin, invasive species have become a major threat to freshwater biodiversity often leading to important social and economic impacts where they occur. These threats are unequally distributed over the Mediterranean region, with some areas being more impacted than others. For example, the biodiversity of lakes of the eastern part of the region has been particularly vulnerable after the introduction of non-native invasive fishes, which led to three species becoming extinct (Alburnus akili, Aphanius splendens, Pseudophoxinus handlirschi) (Freyhof et al. 2014).
A global threat to biodiversity and human health
Invasive alien species have been prioritised as a key issue to discuss in international policy fora, including Objective 2 of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 and Target 15.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both call for the prioritisation of invasive alien species for prevention, eradication or control to halt loss of biodiversity.
Learn more about how IUCN is working to tackle the threat of IAS on natural ecosystems on a global scale:
EICAT (Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa)
The IUCN EICAT Categories and Criteria: the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) is the IUCN Standard for the classification of the impact of alien species on the environment. It is a simple, objective and transparent method that classifies alien taxa into one of five impact categories, according to the magnitude of the detrimental impacts to the environment.
The scheme can be applied at a national, regional and global level: all EICAT assessments undertaken at the global level will be made available through the IUCN Global Invasive Species Database.
LIFE INVASAQUA - Aquatic invasive exotic species in freshwater and estuarine systems: Awareness and Prevention in the Iberian Peninsula
Environmental impact assessment of introduced species in Spain: feasibility analysis of the IUCN EICAT classification system
Assessment of the environmental impact of introduced species in Spain: Feasibility analysis of the IUCN EICAT classification system (under construction).
The MEDMIS Initiative
The overall aim of the Strategy for Marine Alien Invasive Species in MPAs and MedMIS initiative is “To establish a common framework for the Mediterranean MPAs to develop action on marinea invasive species”.