Prioritizing alien and invasive species

Species-based prioritization is the most common and best-developed of the three focus areas, with many existing models [1]. Species prioritization considers which alien species, and which traits, are associated with the greatest negative impacts on the economy, society, ecosystems, habitats, or native species.[1]

Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) 

This is a species-based and impact-focused scheme for assigning alien species to five semi-quantitative, sequential categories, ranging from minimal to massive impact [2,3].

Classification is based on a fixed set of mechanisms by which species cause impacts, including for example, competition or hybridization with native taxa, disease transmission and biofouling.

EICAT provides a transparent, standardized, and effective approach that can also be applied to a diverse range of taxa (across plants and animals) and differing types and quality of available evidence [2, 3].


Referenced material and links

[1]McGeoch, M.A., Genovesi, P., Bellingham, P.J., Costello, M.J., McGrannachan, C. & Sheppard, A.  2016. Prioritizing species, pathways, and sites to achieve conservation targets for biological invasion. Biological Invasions 18, 299-314. doi 10.1007/s10530-015-1013-1 

[2] Blackburn TM, Essl F, Evans T, et al (2014) A unified classification of alien species based on the magnitude of their environmental impacts. PLoS Biol 12: Doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001850

[3] Hawkins CL, Bacher S, Essl F et al (2015) Framework and guidelines for implementing the proposed IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT). Diversity and Distributions. Doi: 10.1111/ddi.12379