Impacts of Invasive Species on Islands

Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in island ecosystems. When a species is accidentally or intentionally introduced into a new landscape or seascape, the consequences can be devastating, posing a large threat to agriculture, public health, tourism, and other economic activities. Invasive plants and animals can spread unchecked, disrupting natural cycles and costing billions.

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Invasive are a priority for Pacific Island nations because islands are highly vulnerable to invasions that can result in catastrophic loss of biodiversity and other impacts. However, the relatively small size and isolation of most islands offer important opportunities for preventing new invasions and eradicating existing pest species.

In some parts of the Pacific, experienced conservation professionals have developed model programs to prevent, eradicate, or control certain high-priority invaders, such as rodents, feral animals, and invasive weeds. However, conservation practitioners in the Pacific represent a host of different agencies and countries, and most are geographically and professionally isolated. As a result, few Pacific conservationists currently have the information, expertise, and support they need to manage invasive species effectively.

Peer Learning Networks a Solution

Peer learning networks are a proven strategy for improving conservation skills and building cooperation between trained professionals. By bringing peers together with conservation experts, learning networks foster new ideas and practical, site-specific solutions. Multi-disciplinary project teams can work together on strategies with critical input from other teams and experts, resulting in a common vision and a plan for effective conservation action.

Video: Sharing management methodologies through networking