The first data release from a broad international collaboration aiming to comprehensively catalogue invasive species around the globe, as the IUCN Red List indexes endangered species, is published online this week in Scientific Data. The data cover 20 countries and over 6,400 species, and reveal that 25% of these species have a negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.
Cross-border trade and transport is the principal driver of new species introductions, and knowing which species are where is central to evaluating risk to biodiversity and ecosystems, identifying priority species and slowing the rate of new invasions. Although several countries have developed effective local solutions to dealing with the management of introduced and invasive species data, globally representative, comparable data are lacking.
Shyama Pagad, Melodie McGeoch and colleagues present the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS): the first country-specific checklists of introduced and invasive species, conceived to provide a sustainable platform to facilitate transparent, repeatable analysis and reporting on introduced and invasive species.
The authors present example country checklists covering Brunei, Chile, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Ireland, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Yemen. They suggest the GRIIS will help countries to identify and prioritise invasive alien species and establish national and global baselines, and that, in the future, will enable a global system for sustainable monitoring of trends in biological invasions that affect the environment.
The checklists are available from the GRIIS Homepage (http://www.griis.org/) and from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (https://www.gbif.org/).