Beware of aliens! Take action to tackle rise of invasive species

A new Europe-wide awareness campaign is calling on everyone to prevent the spread of invasive alien species.


• Invasive alien plants and animals threaten other wildlife and cost Europe’s economy over €12bn a year

• By taking key actions, companies and the public can help prevent spread of these harmful species


Signal crayfish

series of materials including posters, animations and social media graphics, to get the key messages out to key audiences, have been developed through a European Commission-funded project.


It was led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and the Atlantic Technological University, Ireland, and involved government agencies, trade organisations, NGOs and research institutes across Europe.


Alien (or non-native) species, which are moved from their natural range to other parts of the world by humans either intentionally or un-intentionally, are increasing globally. A small proportion of these alien species spread and cause problems – so called invasive alien species.


Invasive alien plants and animals are a major cause of biodiversity loss because they outcompete other wildlife, prey on other species or spread disease. They can also damage crops and infrastructure and put human health and wellbeing at risk.


There are now more than 80 invasive alien plants and animals of concern in the EU to which restrictions on their import, transport, sale and purchase apply, and a similar number of species are affected by rules in the UK.


The new campaign urges people and businesses to ‘Beware of Aliens’, by enhancing understanding of the threat posed by Invasive Alien Species and taking appropriate, specific actions that will prevent the spread and establishment of these species. In the UK, you can record any non-native species online through iRecord.


More on the UKCEH website