News

Consultation on management measures for widely spread Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in England and Wales

18 July 2019

Consultation on management measures for widely spread Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in England and Wales
Defra and the Welsh Government are seeking your views on proposed management measures for 14 widely spread Invasive Alien Species (IAS) found within England and Wales. The EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation came into force in 2015. For widely spread species of Union concern, the Regulation requires effective management measures to be put in place, so that the species’ impact on biodiversity, the related ecosystem services and, where applicable, on human health or the economy are minimised. Management measures consist of lethal or non-lethal, physical, chemical or biological actions aimed at eradication, population control and containment of a population of species of Union concern.

Please see the website for more information on the consultation and how to respond. Note, responses should be received by the 12th September 2019.

New issue of the Non-native Species Newsletter

11 July 2019

New issue of the Non-native Species Newsletter
The Summer 2019 issue of the Non-native Species Newsletter is now available to downloadFind previous issues and sign up to the mailing list here.

PlantAlert: reporting potentially invasive ornamental plants from gardens

11 July 2019

PlantAlert: reporting potentially invasive ornamental plants from gardens
The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) in collaboration with Coventry University has launched a new long-term survey tool to record potentially invasive ornamental plants in gardens. In contrast to the usual BSBI recording, PlantAlert is a survey of horticultural taxa proliferating in gardens. The aim is to identify potentially invasive alien plants before they become a problem in the wider environment. We are asking gardeners across Britain and Ireland to report taxa that are growing out of control in garden situations - plants that might later escape into the countryside. For more information, to contribute records, read more background and view results so far, please go to plantalert.org. The project is also on twitter at @Plant_Alert.

Final invasive species session of the Environmental Audit Committee

10 July 2019

Final invasive species session of the Environmental Audit Committee
The final invasive species session of the Environmental Audit Committee, with Lord Gardiner, the Chief Plant Health Officer and Chief Non-native Species Officer is available to watch online. Find out more here.

New edition of Island Resoration News: Gough and Henderson available now

10 July 2019

New book on invasive species in Britain

10 July 2019

New book on invasive species in Britain
A new book, Invasive Aliens, about the past, present and future of non-native species in Britain (and sent around the world from Britain) has just been published by William Collins. Find out more here.

Asian hornet identified in south Hampshire

04 July 2019

Asian hornet identified in south Hampshire
The National Bee Unit has today (Wednesday 3 July 2019) confirmed a sighting of an individual, female Asian hornet in New Milton, Hampshire, after it was reported by a member of the public. Based upon visual examination, the hornet is likely to be a queen.

Monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity and local beekeepers are asked to be vigilant.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to monitor for any hornet activity and to identify any nests which may be in the vicinity.

This is the first confirmed sighting since October 2018, when a sighting of an individual hornet was confirmed in Dungeness, Kent.

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

“By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets. That’s why we are working at speed to locate and investigate any nests in the New Milton area following this confirmed sighting.

“While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.

“Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you can report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using our online report form. Alternatively, you can email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Please include a photograph.

Identification guides and more information are available and if you keep bees you should keep up to date with the latest situation and advice on our GOV.UK rolling news story.

APHA and Forestry Commission eradicate Asian longhorn beetle from the UK

07 June 2019

APHA and Forestry Commission eradicate Asian longhorn beetle from the UK
The Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) – an insect which poses a risk to broadleaved trees such as oak and silver birch - has been eradicated in the UK following six years of trapping and surveillance work by APHA and the Forestry Commission.

The pest was initially discovered in Kent in 2012, most likely introduced through infested imported wood packaging material.

The pest is a serious threat to a range of broadleaved trees, including species grown commercially for timber and fruit production. The larvae of the beetle feed on the wood of living trees, boring galleries, or tunnels in the trunks and branches. The galleries can penetrate all the way from the outer layer to the heart wood, and a severe infestation can kill the tree.

Lord Gardiner, Defra Biosecurity Minister said: “I am delighted that we have been able to eradicate Asian Longhorn Beetle – this is a testament to the dedication and hard work carried out by our Plant Health service.

“Globalisation in trade, increased travel and the diversity of plants entering the UK mean more threats to plant health. Our strong response includes investing more than £4.5m to strengthen our border security, recruiting and enhancing training for new plant inspectors.

“Furthermore, we identify and assess new threats to our trees by using the UK Plant Health Risk Register, the most comprehensive in the world, containing over 1000 pests and diseases which are regularly reviewed and prioritised for action.”

Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer said: “Asian Longhorn Beetle would pose a serious threat to our treescape if allowed to establish, so it is great news that it has been officially eradicated in the UK.

“Strong biosecurity relies on everyone playing their part – in our forests, at borders or when buying plants. It is important that we continue to raise awareness of the simple things that people can do to protect against pests and diseases, such as sourcing plants from a reputable nursery.”

New approach for tackling invasive non-native species in Wales.

29 May 2019

New approach for tackling invasive non-native species in Wales.
An innovative approach to dealing with the impacts of non-native species has been launched in Wales.
Funded by the Welsh Government’s new Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being (ENRaW) grant, the Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN) is devising a new collaborative framework that will help public and private bodies and community groups to work together to tackle the significant impacts of invasive non-native species (INNS).

WaREN is keen to engage with organisations, businesses and community groups with an interest in INNS. Please get in touch by contacting: walesbiodiversitypartnership@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk .
Find out more on the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website and read the press release.

IPBES announces co-chairs to lead key assessment of invasive alien species

22 May 2019

IPBES announces co-chairs to lead key assessment of invasive alien species
Bonn (IPBES News) – Three leading global experts have today been announced as the co-chairs of a new and vitally important assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), of existing knowledge regarding invasive alien species and their control.

Professors Helen Roy MBE (United Kingdom), Aníbal Pauchard (Chile) and Peter Stoett (Canada) will head a team of more than 70 expert authors, to be selected from a large pool of nominations, by the end of June this year.

Invasive alien species were identified, just weeks ago in the landmark IPBES Global Assessment Report, as one of the top five global culprits driving negative change in nature around the world – with numbers having risen by 70% since 1970 across 21 countries.

Once completed, the new three-year assessment will offer Governments and decision-makers at all levels the best available evidence on the array of invasive alien species; their impacts on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people – especially to health and livelihoods; how and why they spread; levels of public awareness; as well as the effectiveness of current control measures and options for further policy and action.

Find out more on the IPBES website.


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