Invasion pathways at a crossroad: policy and research challenges for managing alien species introductions.

Published online
23 Dec 2015
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Hulme, P. E.
Contact email(s)

Publication language


Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity have agreed that, by 2020, invasion pathways will be identified, prioritized and managed to prevent the introduction of invasive alien species. The challenges facing this target are examined for six primary invasion pathways: assisted colonization as a deliberate release; escape of pets and aquaria species; parasite and pathogen contaminants of wildlife; stowaways on tourist clothing and equipment; navigation corridors; and transboundary implications of unaided spread. Economic drivers such as tourism, the pet trade and infrastructure projects will accelerate invasive alien species introductions, particularly in emerging economies. Mitigation requires 'polluter pays' legislation combined with improved policy enforcement and compliance. Policy implications. Policymakers require new risk analysis tools to predict the hazards posed by species with no prior invasion history, the vulnerability of native biodiversity to emerging diseases, and the components of regional species pools that become invasive following connection via corridors.

Key words