Exotic Invasive Species with Environmental Impacts

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences - Jessica Evans, Alexander Brazenor, Bertie Hennecke and Sandra Parsons

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Invasive species already established in Australia have had a significant impact on the environment, threatening biodiversity, causing environmental degradation and reducing species diversity and abundance - how do we prevent further incursions?

What is the problem?

Australia’s strong biosecurity system aims to mitigate the risk of new introductions of pests and diseases that could impact on our unique environments, industries and way of life

Exotic invasive species are defined here as those species not native and not introduced to Australia, which have been identified as causing a negative impact in areas where they have been introduced

Previous introductions of invasive species (for example, European fox, European carp and lantana)—many of them intentional—have had significant impacts on Australia’s environment.

What did the research involve?

The focus of this research is on strengthening Australia’s biosecurity preparedness capabilities, to enable a rapid response to pest and disease incursions. The objective of this project is to identify exotic invasive species (plants, vertebrates and invertebrates) that have the potential to impact on Australia’s environment.

This report describes the methods used to develop a database of exotic species with potential environmental impacts.

It also provides an overview of species in the database at July 2017.

What were the key findings?

The database produced by this project adds to the awareness of the potential threat to Australia of exotic invasive species. There are many concurrent processes across the biosecurity sector to identify priority exotic species (marine pests, plant pests and animal diseases). Therefore, the review focused on areas where there were potential knowledge gaps: vertebrate pests, weeds and invertebrate pests with environmental impacts.

Final Comment

Preventing the entry of invasive species is considered the most cost-effective way to manage the risk they pose (Department of Primary Industries 2010). Australia’s strong quarantine system facilitates the import and export of goods while mitigating the risks of introducing harmful pests and diseases. However, no risk is ever reduced to zero, so from time to time, incursions of exotic species may occur.

2017 - Australia - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences - Jessica Evans, Alexander Brazenor, Bertie Hennecke and Sandra Parsons
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