Aliens threatening Europe
A new study conducted by Riccardo Scalera of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist group, Piero Genovesi and colleagues at the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Rome, Italy, reports a dramatic increase in alien mammal invasion rate in Europe since the beginning of the 20th Century. It has been assessed that these alien mammals’ invasions severely threaten the future of native biodiversity in Europe, including some at a high risk of extinction.
Apart from the alien introductions that occurred during the Neolithic era, the authors have provided information on the alien invasions occurring from the most recent times. The severe impact on native and threatened species of Europe as defined by the IUCN Red List is confirmed and a constant increase in the alien invasion level attested. This study can therefore provide a highlighting manual to help prioritize response, for example in terms of prevention and eradication.
All European countries will need to address these issues in order to comply with the international conventions and obligations such as embodied in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020.