Current information with complete global coverage is central to managing biological invasions. Trans-boundary and trading partnership risks cannot be evaluated without adequate information on alien species distributions; for which international and cross-border policy and co-operation is particularly essential. However, systematic monitoring of alien species remains lacking, and a standardized approach for tracking biological invasion has until now not been developed. This website presents the vision and an approach to achieving global observation and monitoring of biological invasions.

Use this site to:

  • Inform the development of national, sub-national or site-based observation and monitoring systems for invasive alien species
  • Harmonise existing observation and monitoring systems for invasive alien species
  • Promote national and global efforts to achieve and report on conservation targets for biological invasions

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Click here to read more on the Background of this project
Invasive alien species pose a significant and ongoing threat to biodiversity, society and the economy. Species movements beyond their historic distributions will continue, driven largely by increased volumes of trade and increasingly complex trade routes. In many cases invasion and climate change interact to increase the likelihood of the establishment, growth, spread and survival of species. Assessing and monitoring species distributions and movements is therefore essential for understanding and tracking global change consequences.

Unlike the systematic evaluation and monitoring process in place for tracking the status of threatened species at multiple spatial scales, no such process in currently in place for invasive alien species. This is in spite of the fact that they result in economic loss and have negative impacts on human and animal welfare. Not only is no systematic process in place for tracking the state of global biological invasion, but also the variables and metrics for doing so in a standardised way (necessary to underpin a robust observation system) have not been fully developed, widely agreed to, or adopted.

This site provides a framework, guidance and information resources for the development of national observation and monitoring systems for invasive alien species. It was developed using the concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables as a vehicle for identifying the building blocks for National Observation and Monitoring for Biological Invasion. Some of the tools and resources mentioned are themselves still under development. Nonetheless, there is much that countries can do in the short term to develop their own observation and monitoring systems and contribute to the global effort to better understand, track, manage and report on biological invasions that negatively impact biodiversity.


GEO BON working group on using an Essential Biodiversity Variable approach to Invasion Monitoring, including; McGeoch, M. A., Bacher, S., Blackburn, T. M., Capinha, C., Costello, M. J., Fernández, M., Genovesi, P., Gregory R. D., Hobern, D., Hui, C., Jeschke, J. M., Jetz, W., Kumschick, S., Latombe, G., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Roy, H. E., Scalera, R., Squires, Z. E., Wilson, J. R. U. and Winter, M.  – Click here to read more about this GEO BON working group

Citation: McGeoch, M.A. and Squires, Z. 2015. An Essential Biodiversity Variable approach to monitoring biological invasions: Guide for Countries. GEO BON Technical Series 2, 13 pp. http://www.geobon.org/Downloads/reports/GEOBON/2015/MonitoringBiologicalInvasions.pdf

Click here to download key research publication