Invasive alien species
A European Union response
Alien species are species that have been transported outside their natural ecological range as a result of human action. The vast majority are unable to survive in an unfamiliar environment without human intervention and eventually die off. But some species manage to adapt to their new surroundings and eventually establish themselves in the wild, where they can cause significant ecological and economic damage. These are known as Invasive Alien Species (IAS). IAS are defined as species whose introduction and spread outside their natural ecological range poses a real threat to biodiversity and... the economy. It is estimated that there are already over 12,000 alien species present in Europe, of which around 10–15% are invasive. They occur in all major taxonomic groups, ranging from mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and plants to fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms. They are also found in every type of habitat, both on land and in the surrounding seas. All EU Member States have problems with IAS on their territory to a greater or lesser extent.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Environment (European Commission)
- Personal author(s): Sundseth, Kerstin
- Other authors: Ecosystems Ltd Themes: Environmental regulations , Environment policy and protection of the environment
- Subject: biodiversity , degradation of the environment , economic development , environmental impact , environmental law , environmental protection , EU environmental policy , European Union , harmful plant , protection of animal life , protection of plant life , regulation (EU)
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