What is an Invasive Alien Species

Invasive species are species that have been introduced (deliberately or accidentally) by humans and have a negative impact on the economy, wildlife or habitats of Ireland and Northern Ireland. After habitat loss, invasive species are the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide, and the biggest threat on islands.

This video aims to demonstrate what some key terrestrial invasive species look like, how to spot and report them and to signpost viewers to more information on invasive species.

There are a wide range of invasive species that are present in the Lough Erne area, which were highlighted and addressed in the Conservation Land Management Strategy and the Landscape Conservation Action Plan including zebra mussel, Nuttall pondweed etc.

Record and Report

Keep an eye out for Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in your area and record sightings with the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording.  View our downloadable guides below to help you identify invasive species that may occur in your local patch.  Recording this data is vital to help limit the amount or stop the spread completely.  Species such as the Asian Hornet or the Oak Processionary Moth have been recorded in parts of England and just recently in the island of Ireland, so vigilance is essential.

Widely Spread Species

A Widely Spread Invasive Species is a species that is on the Species of Union Concern list and is considered established and widely spread in Northern Ireland.  There are 11 Widely Spread Species in Northern Ireland and their associated management measures are listed on the Invasive Species NI website.

One other notable Invasive Species is Japanese Knotweed and information on how to manage and control the spread if also available on the Invasive Alien Species NI website.  The legislation in relation to Japanese Knotweed states that:

Under article 15 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild, Japanese Knotweed or any other invasive plant listed in Part II of Schedule 9 to that Order.

Preventing the spread of Invasive Species

There are simple things that you can do to help prevent the spread of Invasive non-native species:

  • Keep any boats, clothing, footwear and equipment used in water free of invasive non-native species – remember to Check Clean Dry after use.
  • Be Plant Wise and don’t let your pond or aquarium plants enter the wild.
  • Take care of your pets, never release them or allow them to escape into the wild.  It’s cruel and could harm other wildlife.
  • Look out for Asian Hornet and other alert species and record your sightings.
  • If you see what you believe to be an Invasive Alien Species, please do not cut or disturb it, but report it on the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording website.

There are a limited number of free Invasive Alien Species ID Swatch Cards available at Killyvilly and Gortrush Depots and they are also available on the website.

A wealth of information and knowledge is al available on Invasive Species Northern Ireland, Invasive Alien Species in Ireland, Lough Erne Landscape Partnership and Non-Native Species Secretariat.


File Type Size Date
Asian Hornet Flyer pdf 1 MB 23rd May 2021
Giant Hogweed Flyer pdf 7 MB 23rd May 2021
Himalayan Balsam Flyer pdf 5 MB 23rd May 2021
Invasive Alien Species ID cards pdf 801 KB 23rd May 2021
Invasive Alien Species Plant identification pdf 5 MB 23rd May 2021
Japanese Knotweed Flyer pdf 5 MB 23rd May 2021