As global trade and travel intensify, species are transported around the globe at an ever increasing rate. Some of these species establish themselves in new environments, and start to spread rapidly, causing ecological and socioeconomic damage. These species are termed ‘invasive’. Once an invasive species is established, the ongoing cost of managing the population and mitigating its impacts on ecological services are often considerable.
Government agencies and wildlife conservation groups alongside businesses and industry need to respond to the challenge of invasive species, the cost of which, both economically and environmentally, has increased dramatically in recent years. Organisations seek to manage invasive species as effectively and humanely as possible. Management strategies can include preventive actions towards new invasions, regulation of population numbers using various methods, impact mitigation and/or landscape modification. This requires a targeted approach taking into account the species- and the area-specific context (area conditions, legal framework).
A new INBO report provides a framework for writing best practices for management of invasive species (including preventive strategies, eradication, containment and control). We screened available best practices for invasive species and literature about this subject. Based on this, we here present the necessary elements of a best practice for managing invasive alien species. Where relevant, we provide information on the specific Flemish context and reasons why these aspects should be part of a best practice.
Besides the area- and species-specific context, the contents of a best practice manual are also determined by the target audience (e.g. the general public, government agencies, specific stakeholder groups such as naturalists, hunters, anglers, beekeepers, managers of nature reserves).
This report seeks to provide guidance and a general template for the drafting and writing of best practices for invasive alien species management.