Marine Aliens: Conserving native biodiversity by raising awareness of invasive species. Final Report (2004 – 07)

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The intentional or accidental introduction of non-native “alien” species is second only to habitat destruction in causing the global loss of biodiversity. Alien species are also a serious impediment to conservation (Article 8; Convention on Biological Diversity). The UK Biodiversity Research Working Group recommended that research priorities focus on identifying the risks posed by alien species to UK biodiversity, including analysis of non-natives in relation to the Habitat and Species Action Plans specified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Prior to the Marine Aliens project, research in the UK on marine invasive species was highly disparate and localised. Over the last 3 years, this project has significantly raised the profile of nonnative marine species in UK coastal waters and has been well received by government organisations and the general public alike. The team has concentrated on seven target non-native species,
mapping their distribution, recording their spread and studying their biology, ecological impacts and their mechanisms of invasion.
Members of the Marine Aliens team have participated in 8 government-led working groups over the last 3 years, raising the profile of marine invasive species and directly influencing the development
of the UK strategy for dealing with invasive non-native species.
The project has generated 19 peer-reviewed scientific papers in international journals and the data has been disseminated through a wide variety of scientific and popular media, including the popular website. In addition, it has resulted in 4 PhD studentships and 4 MSc/MRes theses. A number of
international research collaborations (e.g. from USA, China, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, Norway, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands) have also been established during the course of the project and resulted in a number of collaborative publications. These collaborations both increase the exchange of information and experience which can only be beneficial in the future
production of action plans and raising public awareness for invasive species worldwide. It is now critical that the momentum is continued and the results of this programme will be sent to the Convention of Biological Diversity and the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat to assist in the development of European and national action plans and conservation strategies
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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