Haslemere Natural History Society

Providing a focus for enthusiastic naturalists of all ages

Introduced Invasive Species – Increased Biodiversity or Conservation Nightmare?

Date: 9 January 2021
Indoor Meeting

Dr Colin Ryall, retired Principal Lecturer in Environmental Management – Kingston University, London
This was held on Zoom with 42 people logging on.
An alien species is one that has been introduced by man to a new location for form a self-sustaining population. In UK there are more than 3000 non-native plants and animals, with about 40% being flora introductions.
About 10% of introduced species present a problem and are known as Invasive Alien Species (IAS).  These are a result of man’s activities globally and the second most serious cause of upsetting biodiversity.  Often without a predator, they can proliferate to out-compete endemic species, modify habitats, hybridise, and bring in diseases. Colin showed many examples of these.
Globally IASs have wreaked havoc in Hawaii, Galapagos, New Zealand and other countries.  A dramatic example is on the island of Guam where most bird species have been made extinct by the accidental introduction of the brown tree snake.
On-going and future surveillance with international cooperation is needed and there are various organisations dealing with this. Colin suggested that should members come across and wish to notify any unwanted species they can use various apps which are listed here.

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