The Western Indian Ocean Network on Invasive Species (WIONIS), supported by IUCN, has launched a new website to facilitate information exchange about invasive species.
The WIONIS network was established in 2012 to improve the exchange of data, news, alerts and advice about invasive species in the Western Indian Ocean region (WIO). The network was set up and is currently supported by the European Union funded Inva’Ziles Project, which aims to help the WIO islands tackle biodiversity loss caused by invasive species.
“Within the WIO region, invasive species impact biodiversity and local communities and place pressure on both agricultural production and tourism,” said IUCN’s Inva’Ziles Project Coordinator Alan Tye. “It is therefore of both social and environmental importance to reduce their negative impacts. Ensuring effective knowledge exchange about invasive species is fundamental to improving their management.”
Work to combat the negative impacts of invasive species is under way in the WIO region. In the Vallée de Mai World Heritage Site on Praslin Island in the Seychelles, a novel programme is being carried out by the Seychelles Island Foundation to integrate the management of several invasive species - plants, tenrec, rats and ants – and monitor the response of native species. On Rodrigues Island in The Republic of Mauritius, the Rodrigues Regional Assembly and Forestry Services are working with the local community to replace the invasive Acacia nilotica tree by planting highly threatened endemic and native species.
The new website aims to showcase and enhance the work of the WIONIS network, by providing a space for those interested in invasive species and their management within the region, to share knowledge effectively. The website is available in English and French and is hosted by CIRAD, the French agricultural research for development organisation.
For more information about the Inva’Ziles project and WIONIS, including how to join the network and contribute new materials to the website, please contact Alan Tye.