Invasives Blog

In the first half of 2020, CABI’s Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) had over 1.5 million visits, around double the number for the same period in 2019. How much of this is down to the demand for high quality content and improvements that have been made to the site, and how much is down to people across the world being locked down with their computers due to COVID-19, it’s hard to tell.

Screenshot of Invasive Species Compendium hompage

The ISC receives most of its visitors via popular search engines and usually land on one of the more than 10,000 expert-written datasheets on invasive species contained on the site. As well as the datasheets, the ISC also hosts research article abstracts, and factsheets with practical information on managing invasives.

We have delved in to the numbers to see exactly where people have been focusing their attention.

The ISC datasheets proved the most popular; these are developed by subject experts and peer-reviewed. The datasheets include fully referenced sections on biology, distribution, habitat, pathways for introduction, impacts and management, and are used by a range of people, from researchers to policy makers to quarantine officers, and many others.

The most read pest datasheets in the first half of 2020 were:

Close up of fall armyworm caterpillar on maize

1. Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm)

Four northern Pacific seastars

2. Asterias amurensis (northern Pacific seastar)

Plate of uncooked whiteleg shrimp

3. Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp)

A small Indian mongoose photographed from a distance

4. Herpestes auropunctatus (small Indian mongoose)

Very close-up shot of Tuta absoluta larvae on a green tomato

5. Tuta absoluta (tomato leafminer)

Two of these species – the fall armyworm and tomato leafminer – were given their own dedicated portal pages using funding through the Action on Invasives programme. These portals offer a place where users can access curated information on their prevention. Two other key species affecting livelihoods also have dedicated portals – Parthenium weed and TR4.

The ISC is accessed from almost every country across the world, but the stats can tell us where the biggest increase in use was coming from. In the top 50 countries who have accessed the ISC this year (because we didn’t want to include countries that increased from 2 visits to 10!) the countries with the biggest increase in use in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 were Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia and Nepal.

We would love to hear from you about how you use the ISC, and what features you find most useful! If you are one of the more than one million users who have used the ISC this year, why not comment below, and let us know how you use the ISC. We’re always open to feedback, so if you have any suggestions for how we can make the ISC even better, we’d be very excited to hear your ideas.

Read more about the ISC, including its partners, funding and contributors

Also on the blog:

New Fall Armyworm Portal features as part of CABI’s upgraded Invasive Species Compendium

New TR4 Portal on the Invasive Species Compendium

Open Access tools for Open Science

CABI’s ISC datasheets contribute to regulatory action against high-risk freshwater invasive species in the USA


Through their funding of CABI’s Action on Invasives programme, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), support the upgrade of the ISC including the addition of new resources and the species portals, and its ongoing maintenance.

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