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31 August 2017

Island invasive conference

In July the UK hosted the first international Island Invasives conference in the Northern hemisphere. The event brought together world experts in tackling invasive species to share experience, discoveries and ideas about the management of these species and the international efforts to combat the threat they pose to biodiversity.

Island invasive conference banner

The conference took place at the University of Dundee and saw over 300 delegates representing 43 countries, 90 talks including seven keynotes, and 70 poster presentations. HRH The Princess Royal launched the conference as the patron of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, the co-organiser of the conference with the University of Dundee, and the Environment Minister Lord Gardiner also attended.

Invasive alien species (IAS) on islands can have a huge impact on habitats and ecosystems. Island flora and fauna, which have often evolved in isolation for thousands of years, can be particularly vulnerable to extinction from these invaders. However, by their very nature, islands may also offer the possibility of long-term refuge and security if alien species can be eradicated or effectively controlled.

Topics ranged from biosecurity and plant invasions to rat eradications and tackling mass extinctions. Speakers explored how achievements in this field can be scaled up to meet the global conservation challenges brought about by invasive species.

Lord Gardiner, the minister responsible for invasive species in England, said, “Invasive non-native species threaten the survival of plants and animals around the world and conferences like this are vital for sharing global expertise and bringing countries together to tackle the problem.”

“We are helping our overseas territories protect their precious plants and wildlife, and the UK will keep investing and working with the international community and other partners to defend biodiversity at home and abroad.”

More about the conference

Source: PPC88

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