New Zealand researchers introduce checklist of invasive species

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-24 23:41:24|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WELLINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS) is the first "open-access, evidence-based information platform for invasive species" which threaten the survival of mammals, birds and plants across the globe, the University of Auckland said on Wednesday.

The idea for the register was conceived and conceptualized at the University of Auckland where the New Zealand office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Invasive Species Specialist Group has been hosted for over two decades.

GRIIS, presented in the newly-published Scientific Data, has been a huge project and "has involved the work of many scientists and government staff from many countries around the world," said Shyama Pagad, the University of Auckland honorary academic in the School of Biological Sciences, who is also lead author of the work.

"It is vital to helping countries track and monitor how invasive species are impacting biodiversity and fragile ecosystems and the main pathways for invasive species," Pagad said.

The register includes 202 country and territory sub-lists, and currently houses nearly 9,000 evidence-based records and close to 40,000 alien and invasive species records that are in the process of being verified, the statement said.

Some of the key challenges that had to be overcome in compiling the register were developing a system that was evidence-based, and that included information from a wide range of sources, languages and formats, it said.

GRIIS will now be updated regularly, enabling repeat assessments and building knowledge to help reduce the impact of invasive species and prevent their introduction, Pagad said.

A highlight of the initiative has been the involvement of networks of editors in each country who are now the custodians of their country's checklists, she said.