Giant Rodent Invasion: The Coypu

Myocastor coypus (Coypu), swimming in Japan (By Alpsdake via Wikimedia Commons)
Myocastor coypus (coypu), swimming in Japan (By Alpsdake, via Wikimedia Commons)

Listed as among the Top 100 of the world’s worst invasive species, the coypu (also known as nutria) can cause severe damage to the environment in countries where it is an introduced species. Largely introduced as stock for fur farms and for private ownership, it has spread from its native range in South America to North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  Coypu can be found near rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and brackish marsh in coastal areas.

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Taking on Fall Armyworm in Africa: The search for effective natural enemies

The Fall Armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda has emerged as a serious threat to food security for millions of smallholder producers in Africa due to its rapid spread across the continent and extensive damage to staple cereals. At the last count, at least 28 countries were reported to be affected by the pest in Africa.

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Invasive species and climate change: a perfect storm

14126332131_5dfa99cf24_k.jpgFollowing on from an IUCN call for greater action on addressing invasive species in order to protect biodiversity – the Honolulu challenge, presented at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress – the latest IUCN brief presses home the links between invasive species and climate change.

Climate change facilitates the spread and establishment of many alien species and creates new opportunities for them to become invasive. Climate change also reduces the resilience of habitats to biological invasions However, the inverse is also true: invasive species reduce the resilience of natural habitats, agricultural systems and urban areas to climate change.

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Triple attack on bananas could devastate $35bn global industry

Banana_Pests_spread_animationCABI scientists have today raised concerns that an attack on the world’s banana production is worse than first feared, with a perfect storm of three pests having the potential to decimate around $35 billion worth of crops.

Biosecurity experts at CABI believe the effects of the fungus known as Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4), together with the Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) and the Banana Skipper butterfly (Erionota spp), could destroy banana plantations across Asia, Africa and Latin America. There are currently no cultivars resistant to these three threats.

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Why biological control is an important tool to manage problematic invasive species in Europe

Written by Dr Urs Schaffner, head of the Ecosystem Management section at CABI Europe-Switzerland.

Melanagromyza albocilia (1)Over the last few years, biological invasions have become a regular topic in the news. Today the general public is probably better informed about the negative environmental and economic impacts alien invasive species can cause than ever before. However, concern about invasive species and the search for methods to sustainably manage them has a much longer history, dating back to the 19th century.

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Invasive species, climate change and tourism impacts the greatest threats to natural World Heritage

IUCN invasive species blogA new report from the IUCN looks at conservation prospects, threats, protection and management of natural World Heritage sites. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2 summarises the key trends in the state of conservation of natural World Heritage sites, the threats and pressures they are facing, and the effectiveness of their protection and management. The top three current threats are all areas in which CABI works, with invasive species, climate change and tourism impacts, in that order, being assessed as the most significant threats to natural World Heritage.

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