Commission adopts first EU list of invasive alien species

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27 Jul

The European Commission has adopted a list of invasive alien species (IAS) of Union concern, which require action across the EU.

The Commission has adopted a list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern ("the Union list"), which requires action taken across the EU. The list contains 37 species that cause damage on a scale that justifies dedicated measures across the Union. There are two fish species on that list (see the list further below).

These 37 Invasive Alien Species (IAS) of Union concern will be subject to a number of restrictions and measures. The IAS Regulation requires three distinct types of measures to be taken: prevention, early detection and rapid eradication of new invasive species, and management of already established Invasive Alien Species.

The Union list takes effect from 3 August. It forms part of “EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species”, which took effect 1 January 2015.

More species on the Union list to come

The Union list will be regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date. An update of the list is already under preparation. Future updates of the list are expected to introduce more species that are not yet present in the EU, and to shift the focus to prevention.

Union list, national lists and regional lists of invasive alien species

On the Union list are - and can only be - species that are non-native to any part of the European Union. However, Member States may establish their own “national list of invasive alien species of Member State concern”. Such lists can include both non-native as well as species native to parts of the European Union. Additionally, Member States may identify, from their national list, species that require “enhanced regional cooperation”. If Some Member States agree such a regional list, it is worth noticing that other Member States “to which those species are native, shall cooperate with the Member States concerned” with regard to identification of pathways and how to avoid further spread of those species.

Note: An obvious species for “enhanced regional cooperation” would be Quagga mussels. These mussels are native to those countries at the bottom of the Danube but risk assessments have shown that they are / would be highly damaging if they transferred into countries in western Europe.

EAA has been engaged with the IAS Regulation and its Union list through the whole of the legislative process, which ran for a number of years. Overall, we are pleased with both the Regulation (adopted last year) and this first list of IAS species of Union concern. However, we would have liked a sufficient EU fund set aside to secure, that “rapid eradication” can and will happen, and not stalled due to individual Member State concern over cost implication.


Cutting from the legislation and modified by EAA with pictures added from this page:

- The two fish species on the list are: Perccottus glenii and Pseudorasbora parva. A number of plants and crustaceans on the list are a threat to the aquatic environment. 

 Baccharis halimifolia L

Cabomba caroliniana Gray

Callosciurus erythraeus Pallas, 1779

Corvus splendens Viellot, 1817

Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms

Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1854

Heracleum persicum Fischer

Heracleum sosnowskyi Mandenova

Herpestes javanicus É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1818

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides L. f.

Lagarosiphon major (Ridley) Moss

Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus Shaw, 1802

Ludwigia grandiflora (Michx.) Greuter & Burdet

Ludwigia peploides (Kunth) P.H. Raven

Lysichiton americanus Hultén and St. John

Muntiacus reevesi Ogilby, 1839

Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vell.) Verdc.

Nasua nasua Linnaeus, 1766

Orconectes limosus Rafinesque, 1817

Orconectes virilis Hagen, 1870

Oxyura jamaicensis Gmelin, 1789

Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana, 1852

Parthenium hysterophorus L.

Perccottus glenii Dybowski, 1877

Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross (Polygonum perfoliatum L.)

Procambarus clarkii Girard, 1852

Procambarus fallax (Hagen, 1870) f. virginalis

Procyon lotor Linnaeus, 1758

Pseudorasbora parva Temminck & Schlegel, 1846

Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. var. lobata (Willd.) (Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi)

Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, 1788

Sciurus niger Linnaeus, 1758,

Tamias sibiricus Laxmann, 1769

Threskiornis aethiopicus Latham, 1790

Trachemys scripta Schoepff, 1792

Vespa velutina nigrithorax de Buysson, 1905

Links to more information:

● Questions & Answers - by the Commission (13 July 2016):

● Commission press release (13 July 2016):
“Commission adopts first EU list of invasive alien species, an important step towards halting biodiversity loss”

● The Commission’s Invasive Alien Species webpage:

● EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species (in all EU languages):
The Regulation took effect 1 January 2015. The EU list of invasive alien species was adopted 13 July this year, taking effect from 3 August.

● List of invasive alien species of Union concern (in all EU languages):

● Angling rally, Sunday 5 June - 300,000 protesters took to the streets of Madrid

● Recreational Anglers Gain a New Voice in Brussels to Tackle Invasive Species – 1 June 2015

● Angling delegation met with MEP Pavel Poc, European Parliament's rapporteur on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) – 6 Nov 2013

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