Invasives Blog

Nezara viridula (green stink bug); mated pair, on pearl millet (

Last week CABI launched the full version of its invasive species Horizon Scanning Tool, a free and open access online resource available via the Invasive Species Compendium that helps users make decisions about invasive species and identify possible risks in countries, provinces and states.

Following beta testing, the tool now includes new features and improvements such as an additional country filter based on trade data, enhanced sharing of horizon scans, improved CSV output and the integration of habitat data into the data sheets.

Funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the tool is designed to help plant health professionals such as plant protection officers, quarantine officers, protected area managers, risk assessors and researchers access large amounts of data for categorising and prioritising potential invasive species.

Importantly, the new Horizon Scanning Tool helps pinpoint possible cross-border threats. Lists of invasive species can be generated using information from CABI Compendia datasheets and filtered to help identify potential risks by showing species that are absent from the selected ‘area at risk’ but present in ‘source areas’ – for example neighbouring countries, countries linked by trade or transport routes, or countries that share similar climates.

Linking to corresponding invasive species datasheets, the tool delivers information on detection and identification of invasive species as well as the species’ means of entry, requirements for establishment and spread, documented negative impacts, and methods for control and prevention. The list can be easily exported to a CSV file for further investigation outside the compendium. The premium version, available only to subscribers of CABI’s Crop Protection Compendium, includes two additional filters – one for plant hosts and one for plant parts in trade – and links to additional pest datasheets from the Crop Protection Compendium.

Gareth Richards, CABI’s Compendium Programme Manager, said: “Since the launch of the beta version in March, we’ve talked to users and used their feedback to make key improvements before fully launching the Horizon Scanning Tool. Along with addressing usability issues and filling some important gaps identified in our data, it is now easier to select countries to scan for risk species by climate matching, and we’ve added data to help select countries that export large volumes of commodities for screening. Many more key data are now included in results outputs to help prioritize lists of invasive species generated by scans. Talking to our user community will be key to ensure we do not stop improving this invaluable service.”

Find out more: CABI Horizon Scanning Tool


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