Invasive alien species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.
They represent the second most significant cause of species extinction worldwide after habitat destruction, and in islands, they are undisputedly first. The impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They are causing significant damage to ecological, economic and health levels. As a matter of fact, they can compete with native species, act as pests or pathogens for cultivated or domesticated species, or even disseminate allergic or infectious agents.
The spread of invasive species is facilitated by increasing trade, travel, and the transporting of goods, as these organisms may “hitchhike” on ships, containers, cars, soils, etc. This is therefore a global problem that requires international cooperation and action.