13 Dec 2022 Red Listed huntable birds threatened by Invasive Alien Species
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (IAS) AS A THREAT
IAS can significantly undermine efforts to protect and restore nature. Besides inflicting major damage to nature and the economy, many IAS also facilitate the outbreak and spread of diseases, posing thereby a threat to humans and wildlife. Of the 1,872 species now considered threatened in Europe, 354 are under threat from IAS. Without effective control measures, the rate of invasion and the risks it brings to our nature and health will continue to rise. IAS are especially problematic for native threatened species that use the same niche or are declining due to a combination of factors such as climate change, habitat loss or diseases.
As part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the European Commission has set itself the goal to step up the implementation of the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation. The introduction and establishment of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the EU environment should be minimised and where possible eliminated. To reverse biodiversity loss, the management of already established IAS is also of key importance. With key commitment 9 under the EU Nature Restoration Plan, the aim will be to manage established IAS and decrease the number of Red List species they threaten by 50%.
EXAMPLE: IAS IMPACT ON BIRDS OF EUROPE
According to the latest Article 12 reporting under the Birds Directive (2013 – 2018), IAS are reported as a high-ranking pressure for 116 bird species/taxa in total. For huntable birds listed in Annex II species, IAS was reported as a high-ranking pressure for 33 species. Out of this group 18 are migratory species in an unsecure status and 3 are sedentary in an unsecure status.
HUNTERS’ KEY ROLE IN IAS MANAGEMENT
European hunters are key in preventing, reducing, and managing IAS. Trained hunters play a fundamental role in terms of early detection, rapid response systems and ongoing eradication efforts which are especially important when IAS impact native threatened species. Please see the full report and examples of IAS management conducted by hunters here.