New report sets out strategy for tackling Invasive Non-Native Species

21 May 2024

A new report launched today urges action and sets out a comprehensive strategy for tackling the issue of invasive non-native species (INNS) in Scotland. 

Invasive Non-native Species in Scotland: A Plan for Effective Action is published by Scottish Environment LINK and supported by a host of member organisations. 

INNS constitute one of the five principal direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, and in Scotland are among the biggest pressures on our biodiversity, with additional significant economic impacts.

The report shows that established INNS are spreading across marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats in Scotland, with new INNS arriving every year. Although there are examples of action on INNS prevention, surveillance, eradication and control to date, success is patchy and best practice not always followed. 

However, this report collates thinking across the environmental NGO network in Scotland to propose ten INNS response principles, which should be applied in all future initiatives and indicate how best practice can be defined, adopted and applied.

Additionally, specific high priority INNS issues are signalled in the report which should be targeted and prioritised as an essential and urgent element of the collective effort to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These include the need for a national strategy for rhododendron ponticum management, and firm government-led action to prevent the incursion of grey squirrels into the Highlands.

Paul Walton, Head of Habitats and Species at RSPB Scotland and co-author of the report stated:

“We believe there is a series of basic key principles that, if adopted, can put Scotland at the forefront of tackling INNS. 

“INNS represent a present and rapidly intensifying environmental pressure – but, with the right approach and the will to succeed, it is one that Scotland can effectively tackle.”

Read the report

Image: Bob Coyle

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