Across the globe, animal and plant invaders are wreaking havoc. Yellow crazy ants have decimated red crab populations on Christmas Island, brown treesnakes have wiped out the forest birds in Guam, and 20 percent of Cape Town’s daily water use is guzzled by invasive plants. In Australia alone, over 3200 known invaders have already established.
During his opening address at a recent invasive species workshop, Mr Bruce Christie, Chair of Environment and Invasives Committee (EIC), recognised invasive species incursions as “having the potential to seriously impact our environment, economy, and way of life.”
Mr Christie opened the two-day national workshop, which focused on detecting and responding to new environmental invasives before they establish. He acknowledged the complexity and challenges associated with environmental invasive species management, but maintained that collectively Australia’s response specialists have the expertise to combat the problem.
“If allowed to establish, these species can collapse ecosystems, disrupt our recreational opportunities, and negatively impact human health”, said Dr Michelle Christy, National Incursion Prevention and Response Facilitator for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) and organiser of the workshop.
The workshop is part of an EIC initiative through CISS to develop a National incursion management framework for invasive species. The initiative aims to enhance the ability to prevent, detect early, and effectively respond to new animal and plant incursions by developing a national incursion response framework.
Stage 1 of the project will be completed in March 2019.
The workshop focused on how we enhance Australia’s capability to respond to incursions of new animal and plants, like the striped snakehead (Channa striata) – image taken by Wibowo Djatmiko