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An invasive alien species (also known as an invasive non-native species (INNS)) is any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live. INNS pose a significant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem health through impacts such as displacement of native species, habitat loss and change of community structure. INNS can also have significant impacts on wellbeing, for example by affecting recreational activities and restricting access, and, in some instances, directly affecting human health. Once introduced, INNS can be extremely difficult and costly to contain or eradicate. It is estimated that the cost of INNS to Wales is at least £125 million a year.
Wales is committed to supporting the aims of the GB Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy by prioritising prevention, early detection and eradication, and strategic long-term management of INNS. To support these aims it is important to have open access to up-to-date and robust data on the distribution of INNS of concern. The INNS Portal, hosted by the National Biodiversity Network Atlas Wales supports the activities of the Wales Biodiversity Partnership Invasive Non-Native Species Group in providing a single resource to view and search records of INNS of interest to Wales that are held by the NBN Atlas. The Portal also helps to implement the GB Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy Implementation Plan in its aim to improve open access to existing data.
The INNS Portal includes taxa of interest to Wales including those listed under EU and national legislation:
- Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern (listed under EU Regulation (1143/2014) on invasive alien (non-native) species (IAS Regulation 2014))
- Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) priority species
- Water Framework Directive (WFD) UKTAG alarm species
- Water Framework Directive (WFD) UKTAG impact species
- Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 9 Part 1 and Part 2 (not Part 1A or 1B)
and those of policy and practical interest:
- Contingency Plan Species for Wales
- GB Non-Native Species Secretariat Alert Species
- Natural Resources Wales Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) list
- INNS – Wales Priority Species for Action
- Marine Invasive Non-native Species Priority Monitoring and Surveillance list for Wales
NBN Atlas uses the UK Species Inventory (UKSI), managed by the Natural History Museum in London, as its species dictionary. Nomenclature for the INNS Portal, as with the NBN Atlas Wales, follows the UKSI.
The taxa in each group are managed in the NBN Atlas through individual species lists. An overview of the individual species lists is here.