Global invasive species database

How to use the Global Invasive Species Database
The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) offers two Search options- a ‘Basic’ search and an ‘Advanced’ search
Basic Search
A query using a genus, species, or common name can be made using the Basic search function.
The search will return any invasive species with a name, or part of a name, that matches your search term, whether it is an accepted scientific name, a synonym or a common name. You will be able to find your search term somewhere in the list of species that are returned.
Hint: Please do not use short words like 'rat' or 'cat'. Your search will produce too many hits because these short words often appear within longer words; e.g. Ictalurus nebulosus marmo RAT us .
The results of the query will display a list of one or several species of interest. Also presented are common names, higher taxonomy and environmental system in which the species occurs.
Selection of the species name will open the species profile page.
The GISD species profile presents detailed information on the ecology of the species, its impacts and management, a comprehensive bibliography and a list of expert contacts
Six tabs are provided
  • General
  • Distribution
  • Impact
  • Management
  • Bibliography
  • Contact
General
The information components presented in the ‘General section includes the following information
  • Higher taxonomy (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family)
  • Environment system (Terrestrial, Freshwater, Marine and combinations)
  • Species common names (several languages)
  • Species Synonyms
  • Similar species (species that could be mistaken for the listed species)
  • Summary (a brief summary including key points on the introduction, spread, invasiveness and impacts)
  • Species Description (narrative)
  • Habitat Description (narrative)
  • Notes
  • Reproduction
  • Lifecycle stages
  • Nutrition
  • Pathways (of introduction and spread)
  • General Impact information
  • Management information
Distribution
The Distribution page presents the global distribution of each invasive species alphabetically by country name. Both the species alien/introduced range and native range are presented. This is followed by countries where its biological status is unspecified (the native or alien status of species is not always known). Species distributions in the GISD are usually expressed in geopolitical rather than biogeographical terms because most questions about our response to invasive alien species are asked and answered within a political context.
Clicking on a country will present local distribution records based on information from a variety of sources including the literature, invasive species experts and programmes, government departments and agencies and research institutes. Note that these sources sometimes contradict each other.
GISD distribution records include location specific information on biological status (Provenance/Status, Invasiveness, and Occurrence), Date and type of introduction, Species notes for that location, Location notes, Management options employed in that location, Impacts of the species on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The source of information for every information component is included.
Classifications/ categories for each of the highlighted terms are provided below
Provenance/Status
  • Alien
  • Native
  • Cryptogenic/ uncertain
  • Not specified
Invasiveness
  • Invasive
  • Not Invasive
  • Not specified
  • Uncertain
Occurrence
  • Absent
  • Recorded in error
  • Extinct
  • Eradicated
  • Intercepted
  • Present in the wild
  • Established
  • Not Established
  • Occasionally present/ casual, occasional
  • Present only in containment facilities
  • Uncertain
  • Undefined
Introduction type
  • Intentional illegally
  • Intentional legally
  • Intentional uncertain
  • Unintentional
  • Natural means
  • Uncertain
Management options (please see below for classification)
Impact - mechanism, outcomes and sub-outcomes, ecosystem services (please see below for classification)
Impact
The Impacts page collates general impacts information from the profile narrative page plus location-specific impacts information from distribution records.
Impacts of the invasive species on threatened species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are listed prominently.
The location-specific (country and detailed location) impact information is presented under the impact mechanism, impact outcome and sub-outcome, and ecosystem services categories (see below for impact mechanisms, impact outcome and sub-outcomes and ecosystem services classification).
Management
The Management page collates management information from the profile narrative page plus location-specific management information from distribution records.
The location specific management information is presented under the management categories (see below for management classification)
Bibliography
The Bibliography page contains downloadable files, links to other websites and reference lists for each species. Information dealing specifically with management of the invasive species (prevention, eradication, control, containment or mitigation) is listed first as ‘Management information’. Other references and links appear under ‘General references’.
Contact
Persons with specific expertise in the behaviour and management of particular invasive alien species are listed (with their permission) with their contact details. They can be contacted for additional advice.
Advanced Search
Advanced Searches on the GISD can be carried out using the following parameters
  • Taxonomy
  • Location
  • Environment System
  • Pathway of Introduction
  • Threatened Species
  • Impact
  • Management
Taxonomy
Selection can be made from a taxonomic hierarchy starting from the second highest rank of Kingdom, to Phylum, Class, Order, Genus and Species. Selection of any one of these taxonomic ranks results in a drop down of the following ranks. The user can click on the triangle on the left of the taxonomic rank to drill down to the lower ranks or click on the square check box to query the database resulting in a list of species that belong to the selected taxonomic rank
A query on anyone of the taxonomic ranks will result in a list of species belonging to that rank that are profiled in the GISD. For e.g. selection of Kingdom Animalia will list 12 Phyla for selection- Annelida, Arthropoda, Chordata, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Echinodermata, Ectoprocta, Mollusca, Myxozoa, Nemata, Platyhelminthes, Porifera; the user can query the GISD on a Phylum which results in a list of species belonging the selected Phylum OR the user can drill down to lower ranks.
Hint : Clicking on the small triangle on the left of the query term will display the drop-down of lower rank for selection; while clicking on the square check box will query the database resulting in a list of species .
Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Location
The GISD comprehensively records occurrence of species in the following location types- Global Region, Country, and detailed location types such as Oceans and Seas and Multi-country features (for e.g. Amazon River, Caspian Sea), and two discrete location types- Islands and Protected Areas.
Locations are recorded using a Parent-Child relationship. Each of the main ‘Parent’ locations are linked to ‘Children’ location. For e.g. selecting Caribbean Islands will list all the nations and territories which are located in the Caribbean Island Region.
The user can click on the small triangle on the left of the location type (Parent) to view the lower location types (Children) or click on the square check box to query the database on that Location type. The query will result in a list of species that are known to occur in that location type
Hint : Clicking on the small triangle on the left of the query term will display the drop-down of lower rank for selection; while clicking on the square check box will query the database resulting in a list of species .
Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Environment System
Eight Environmental ‘Systems’ are classified in the GISD. The user can query the database on any one of the listed Systems. The query will result in a list of species that occur in this System.
Hint : Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Pathway of Introduction
The ISSG has developed a framework of classification of ‘Pathways and Vectors’ of introduction of alien and invasive alien species. Six main categories and 49 sub-categories make up this classification
Clicking on the small triangle on the left of the Main Pathway category will list the corresponding sub-categories. Users can select the square check box of either the main category or any of the sub-categories of interest. A query on a Main Pathway category will result in a list of species that are introduced from a source location or area to the recipient location or area through this pathway category or any one of its sub-categories. A query on any sub-categories will result in a list of species that are introduced from a source location or area to the recipient location or area through this pathway sub-category
Hint : Clicking on the small triangle on the left of the query term will display the drop-down of lower rank for selection; while clicking on the square check box will query the database resulting in a list of species .
Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Threatened Species
The impact of invasive alien species on ‘Threatened species’ has been treated separately
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ™ provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants and animals that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.
This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU)). The IUCN Red List also includes information on plants and animals that are categorized as Extinct (EX) or Extinct in the Wild (EW); on taxa that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e., are Data Deficient (DD)); and on plants and animals that are either close to meeting the threatened thresholds or that would be threatened were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific conservation programme (i.e., are Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt) orNear Threatened (NT)). Widespread and abundant taxa are included in the Least Concern (LC) or Lower risk/Least concern (LR/lc). Also listed are species that are at Lower risk but conservation dependant Lower Risk/conservation dependant (LR/cd).
Clicking on the small triangle on the left of ‘Threatened Species’ displays all the IUCN Red List categories
  • Extinct (EX)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Lower Risk/Near Threatened (LR/nt) or Near Threatened (NT)
  • Lower Risk/Least Concern (LR/lc) or Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/Conservation Dependant (LR/cd)
  • Data Deficient (DD)
Selection of any one of the Red List categories (for e.g. Critically Endangered (CR)) displays an inventory of invasive species that have an impact on the threatened taxon. Clicking on the invasive species name will open its profile page and then selecting the Impact tab appear the complete list of threatened species affected by the alien species.
Hint : Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Impact
Information on invasive species impacts is presented in the GISD as a) general impact information- a narrative as part of the species profile (see results of Basic Search) and b) as location specific impact information.
Data and information related to the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services is separated into the mechanism of the impact (e.g. Grazing/Herbivory/Browsing) and outcome of this impact (e.g. Flammability). Additionally, a tab on ‘Ecosystems services’ has been included which presents information on which Ecosystem service is affected as a result of the impact of invasive species on biodiversity.
Impact Mechanism
Clicking on the small triangle on the left of ‘Impact Mechanism’ lists 13 Impact mechanism types
  • Competition
  • Predation
  • Hybridisation
  • Disease transmission
  • Parasitism
  • Poisoning/Toxicity
  • Bio-fouling
  • Grazing/Herbivory/Browsing
  • Rooting/Digging
  • Trampling
  • Flammability
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Other
Selection of any one of the Impact Mechanism types will result in an inventory that includes country name/ detailed location/ invasive species that has an impact on biodiversity or ecosystem services via this mechanism.
Impact Outcomes and sub-Outcomes
Clicking on the small triangle on the left of ‘Impact Outcome’ lists three Impact outcomes
  • Environmental Ecosystem- Habitat
  • Environmental Species- Population
  • Socio-economic
Each of the Impact outcome is classified into sub-outcomes. Clicking on the small triangle to the left of the Impact Outcome will display the list of sub-outcomes (see below)
Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • Modification of hydrology/water regulation, purification and quality /soil moisture
  • Primary production alteration
  • Modification of nutrient pool and fluxes
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Modification of food web
  • Reduction in native biodiversity
  • Unspecified ecosystem modification
  • Habitat degradation
  • Habitat or refugia replacement/loss
  • Physical disturbance
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Soil or sediment modification: erosion
  • Soil or sediment modification: bioaccumulation
  • Soil or sediment modification: modification of structure
  • Soil or sediment modification: modification of ph, salinity or organic substances
  • Other
Environmental Species- Population
  • Population size decline
  • Species range change
  • Reduces/inhibits the growth of other species
  • Alteration of genetic resources
  • Indirect mortality
  • Plant/animal health
  • Interference with reproduction
  • Other
Socio-economic
  • Damage to agriculture
  • Damage to forestry
  • Damage to aquaculture/ mariculture/fisheries
  • Reduce/damage livestock and products
  • Human health
  • Human nuisance
  • Modification of landscapes
  • Damage to infrastructure
  • Damage to ornamentals
  • Modification of cultural, educational, aesthetic, religious and ornamental values
  • Alteration of recreational use and tourism
  • Impact on trade/international relations
  • Limited access to water, land and other
  • Other economic impact
  • Other livelihoods
  • Unknown
Selection of any one of the Impact Outcome and sub-Outcome types will result in an inventory that includes country name/ detailed location/ invasive species that has an impact on biodiversity or ecosystem services that results due to the relevant mechanism
Ecosystem Services
A framework of Ecosystem services was put forward in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Please follow the link for more details on each of the services. Ecosystem services are those benefits provided by natural ecosystems to humankind. This framework places services into four categories which the GISD lists.
  • Cultural
  • Provisioning
  • Regulating
  • Supporting
Selection of an Ecosystem Service type will results in an inventory that includes country name/ detailed location/ invasive species that has a consequential impact on an ecosystem service/s
Note: the assignation of an impact mechanism/outcome to a particular ecosystem service/s is under development. No results are available just now and will be shortly
Hint : Clicking on the small triangle on the left of the query term will display the drop-down of lower rank for selection; while clicking on the square check box will query the database resulting in a list of species .
Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search
Management
Management information in the GISD is presented as a) general management information- a narrative as part of the species profile (see results of Basic Search) and b) as location specific management information.
Management information is classified into four management options, with an additional option for ‘None’
  • Prevention
  • Eradication
  • Control
  • None
  • Monitoring
Selection of any one of the options (for e.g. Eradication) will result in an inventory that includes country name/ detailed location/ and invasive species which has been subject to this management option i.e. Eradication event. Clicking on the invasive species name will open its profile page and then selecting the management tab will display detailed information on this option.
Hint : Remember to clear your search criteria before commencing on the next search