Today, the Commission took another important step towards halting biodiversity loss with the inclusion of 12 new species in the list of invasive alien species that require action across the EU.
Invasive alien species are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. They have major economic negative consequences in areas such as health care costs, crop yield losses, fish stock losses and damage to infrastructure. These 12 new species – including the muskrat and the alligator weed - have been added, following the positive opinion of experts from Member States. They damage on a scale that justifies dedicated measures across the Union.
Member States are required to address these species by preventing them from being introduced, kept, sold, transported, reproduced or released. They will also need to put in place appropriate measures to tackle new invasions or established populations. The rules will start applying 20 days after publication of the list in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Underpinning with scientific work, the Commission's Joint Research Centre has recently published the first ever Baseline Distribution of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern for 37 species. It has also developed a smartphone application on the 37 species of Union concern, called Invasive Alien Species Europe, which allows citizens to report the presence of these species on the European territory and to raise awareness on the issue.
The list and more information are available here.