Alien species are animals and plants introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found. Such species can become invasive in their new environment if they start spreading and causing serious damage to native species and ecosystems.
Invasive alien species represent a major threat to Europe's native biodiversity and cause economic damage worth billions of euros every year. This threat and damage is likely to increase in the future unless decisive and coordinated action is taken to control the pathways of their introduction, prevent their establishment and spread, and manage already established populations. Prevention is priority because established populations can be expensive to manage and difficult or impossible to eradicate.
What the EU Biodiversity Strategy says
Target 5 requires that by 2020, invasive alien species are identified, priority species controlled or eradicated, and pathways managed to prevent new invasive species from disrupting European biodiversity. (Read the Strategy). It is accompanied by two specific actions to tackle the threat of invasive alien species.
To learn more about our work on invasive alien species and the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 click here.