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Species alerts

Last edited: Apr 26, 2022, 3:06 PM

The following are current GB alert species. By recording any sightings of these species as quickly as possibly you could be helping to prevent the establishment of a new invasive non-native species. 

Any non-native species sightings can be recorded online through iRecord (external link). Learn more about recording non-native species

Jump to:

Vertebrates

Plants

Invertebrates

 

American bullfrog

 Lithobates catesbeianus

Native to: Eastern North America

Impact: introduced to around 25 countries worldwide where it feeds day and night on a wide range of prey, including other amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds. May carry the chitrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and can spread the disease chytridiomycosis to native amphibians.

GB status: not yet widely established but there have been a few records of American bullfrog populations in GB since 1996. 

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on American bullfrog:

 

Water primrose

 Ludwigia grandiflora

Native to: South America

Impact: has become a serious pest in other countries, including France, where it smothers water bodies reducing the numbers of native species and potentially increasing the risk of flooding. 

GB Status: has started to be found in some parts of England and Wales.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Water primrose:

 

Monk parakeet

 Myiopsitta monachus

Native to: South America

Impact: in areas where it has become invasive it has been observed killing native birds, and competing for food. The large nests it produces are unsightly and the noise monk parakeets produce can be a serious nuisance. Monk parakeet can carry diseases that can be passed to wild birds and poultry, and potentially humans.

GB Status: has formed a few small wild-living colonies in England but is not currently considered self-sustaining in GB.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Monk parakeet:

 

Raccoon

 Procyon lotor

Native to: North America

Impact: raccoon is a major predator of birds and rodents and can kill domesticated animals. It can transmit diseases and parasites to domestic and wildlife species and humans, damage fields, gardens, and crops, and cause nuisance problems around houses.

GB Status: not established but occasionally escapes from collections. There is a risk that this species may become established and invasive, if releases continue.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Raccoon:

 

American lobster

 Homarus americanus

Native to: USA and Canada

Impact: could impact on UK lobster stocks and the marine environment, as they could carry disease, or compete for resources and interbreed with the European lobster.

GB Status: occasionally found in UK waters.

Recording suspected sightings: any American lobsters or hybrid lobsters (offspring of an American lobster & a European lobster) found should be retained and reported as soon as possible to:

England

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Further information on American lobster :

 

Raccoon dog

 Nyctereutes procyonoides

Native to: China, Mongolia, parts of eastern Siberia, Japan, Korea and northern southeast Asia.

Impact: may affect native wildlife and game through predation and competition and is a carrier of several zoonotic diseases including rabies. Raccoon dog is one of the top 100 invasive species in Europe.

GB status: not established, but sightings of individuals have been reported.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Raccoon dog :

 

Ruddy duck

 Nyctereutes procyonoides

Native to: North America.

Impact: Ruddy duck hybridises with the white-headed duck, with the potential to case the global extinction of this white-headed duck as a result. 

GB status: An EU project to eradicate ruddy duck to protect white-headed duck is ongoing, read more about the project.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Ruddy duck :

 

Sacred ibis

 Threskiornis aethiopicus

Native to: parts of Africa.

Impacts: can have serious impacts on other bird species due to predation of eggs and chicks. Sacred ibis could cause nuisance or environmental health concerns by scavenging from rubbish bins in areas of human habitation. It is possible that they may also carry disease which could be harmful to poultry, native fauna and humans.

GB Status: occasionally recorded in GB.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Sacred ibis :

 

Siberian chipmunk

 Tamias sibiricus

Native to: the Eurasian taiga zone, from Finland and westernmost Russia (Karelia) eastwards to eastern Siberia, Japan and eastern China

Impact: outside GB, chipmunks are sometimes reported as important predators of low-nesting birds, and may compete with native woodland mammals. They consume many forest nuts and can damage grain crops and destroy garden plants and the bulbs of rare wildflowers.

GB status: escapes and releases are known to have been occurring since at least 1999, when one was found in Yorkshire. Although most have been quickly recaptured or killed, some animals have remained at large for several months.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Siberian chipmunk :

 

Topmouth gudgeon

 Pseudorasbora parva

Native to: East Asia.

Impact: can compete with native and farmed fish for food, space and spawning habitat. May prey on fish fry/eggs and invertebrates, deplete native fish populations and reduce commercial fish productivity. The depletion of zooplankton can increase phytoplankton abundance and hence eutrophication. This species can also be a vector of disease e.g. Spherotecum destruens.

GB status: under eradication in GB.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Topmouth gudgeon :

 

Japanese sting winkle

 Ocinebrellus inornatus

Native to: Asia.

Impacts: pest species in oyster beds in the western USA and Europe.

GB status: not yet present.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Japanese sting winkle :

 

Marbled crayfish

 Procambarus fallax f. virginalis

Native to: Southeastern USA

Impacts: marbled crayfish is a serious threat to aquatic biodiversity. A single specimen can create a new population. This species is known to consume a broad range of plants and invertebrates, posing a risk to native ecosystems if released to natural waters. 

GB Status: not yet been recorded in GB. 

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Marbled crayfish :

 

Carolina fanwort

 Cabomba caroliniana

Native to: South America and southern parts of North America. 

Impact: potentially large impacts on native aquatic communities and may also affect aquaculture, damage equipment, and impede recreational activities. It has caused problems in the Netherlands.

GB Status: a few populations have established in south-east England, but these are not yet invasive due to current climatic conditions. 

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Carolina fanwort :

 

Chilean needle-grass

 Nassella neesiana

Native to: South America

Impact: in areas where it is invasive this species has the tendency to replace native flora, and impacts on the invertebrate community composition.

GB status: view the NBN distribution map (external link) for this species.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Chilean needle-grass :

 

Purple pitcher plant

 Sarracenia purpurea

Native to: North America.

Impacts: This carnivorous plant prefers high quality bog habitat and is usually found in SSSIs, SACs and NNRs, where it outcompetes native bog vegetation, may impact on invertebrate communities, and disrupts trophic interactions and nutrient cycling.

GB status: localised within GB, with 20 sites in England and two in Scotland.

Record suspected sightings (external link) 

Further information on Purple pitcher plant :

 

Sea myrtle

 Baccharis halimifolia

Native to: North America

Impact: in areas where it is invasive this species rapidly colonises disturbed areas. It competes with pasture species for water and nutrients and is toxic to livestock. 

GB status: not established.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Sea myrtle:

 

Various-leaved watermilfoil

 Myriophyllum heterophyllum

Native to: Southeast USA

Impact: can quickly form dense mats in the water which crowd out native species and interfere with navigation and recreational use.

GB status: not established.

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Various-leaved watermilfoil :

 

Asian hornet

 Vespa velutina

Native to: Asia.

Impact: a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, which can cause significant losses to bee colonies, and potentially other native species. 

GB status: Asian hornet arrived in France in 2004 where it spread rapidly. A number of sightings have been recorded in the UK since 2016, find the latest information on Defra's Asian hornet news page (external link).

Recording: It is important to report any suspected sightings of this species as soon as possible. Vigilance is particularly required in southern parts of England and Wales and around major ports. Asian hornet is active mainly between April and November (peak August/September) and is inactive over the winter.

Ideally sightings should be sent in via the links below:

You can also email us to report an Asian hornet sighting.  Please send a photograph and location details. Do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest. 

Useful resources:

Further information on Asian hornet :

 

Black Bullhead

 Ameiurus melas

Native to: Canada, USA and Mexico

Impact: may impact on native predators by reducing the amount of available prey and increasing turbidity of the water, potentially making it harder for visual predators to hunt. 

GB status: 

Record suspected sightings (external link).

Further information on Black Bullhead: