About the GISD

The Global Invasive Species Database is a free, online searchable source of information about alien and invasive species that negatively impact biodiversity. The GISD aims to increase public awareness about invasive species and to facilitate effective prevention and management activities by disseminating specialist’s knowledge and experience to a broad global audience. It focuses on invasive alien species that threaten native biodiversity and natural areas and covers all taxonomic groups from micro-organisms to animals and plants.
The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) is managed by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. It was developed between 1998 and 2000 as part of the global initiative on invasive species led by the erstwhile Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP).
GISD development
The GISD database structure including the GISD interface and presentation of information underwent an update in 2004/2005 supported by the NBII of the USGS. In 2013/2014 the GISD underwent a major redesign with support from the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, the Italian Ministry of Environment and ISPRA - the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Italy. This redesign was aimed at better presentation of data and information, enhanced search and download function, inclusion of information components focused on key areas such as Threatened species, Islands and Protected Areas. Crucially the redesign facilitated the inclusion of key identifiers such as IUCN Red List species codes, WDPA (World Database of Protected Areas) codes, ISO country codes etc. that allow seamless integration with allied databases such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the WDPA, as well as other invasive species resources.
Future Plans
The ISSG is currently working with partners on a global initiative developing the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species (GRIIS) (site is under development) which is aimed at developing country-wise validated, verified and annotated inventories of introduced and invasive species. The results of this study will provide the ISSG with a global inventory of known invasive species. Once these results are available the GISD will feature at least basic information on each of these species.
ISSG with partners is developing the Island Biodiversity and Invasive Species Database (IBIS). A prototype had been developed with support from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) Polynesia-Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot and currently the database structure is being enhanced and web services are being developed (within the framework of the BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Area Management Programme) by the Joint Research Centre of the EU) on the database to facilitate integration of data and information into the planned BIOPAMA Regional Information Systems in the Pacific, Caribbean and Africa regions. IBIS is focused on island ecosystems and presents data and information on the impacts of invasive alien species on native and endemic species at the country, island and site level.
ISSG is working with partners on a prototype online resource that is focused on ‘Pathways of introduction and spread of invasive alien species’. The Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource is under development and includes information on species pathways and any legal information related to the management of specific pathways.
The ISSG plan to upgrade the back-end database into a composite one that will serve all four online resources.
The working language of the GISD is English, but there is information in other languages too. Species profiles for limited numbers of species is available in French (facilitated by the IUCN French Committee) and in Traditional and Simplified Chinese (facilitated by the Biodiversity Research Centre Academia Sinica (BRCAS), Taiwan.
Partners and supporters
The development of the GISD, and population and enhancement of content over the past decade and more has been supported through key partnerships with the erstwhile National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), University of Auckland- New Zealand, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research- New Zealand, and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Additional financial support has been provided by The Global Environment Facility (GEF), La Fondation d’Entreprise TOTAL, US Fish and Wildlife, The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust, New Zealand Aid, the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme (NZ), Taiwan Biodiversity Grant, Biodiversity Research Centre Academia Sinica (BRCAS), IUCN French Committee, United Kingdom Overseas Territories Programme (UKOT).
The GISD until 2014 was hosted by the University of Auckland, New Zealand; with the launch of the revised GISD.
GISD content is created or reviewed by experts
The life blood of the GISD flows from the generous contribution of invasive species information by ISSG members and invasive species specialists and programmes all over the world. They share their knowledge for the good of us all and their names appear as reviewers, principal sources and contact people on each species profile.
Criteria for inclusion of species in the GISD:
The Global Invasive Species Database focuses on invasive alien species that threaten native biodiversity and natural areas. It covers all taxonomic groups from micro-organisms to animals and plants in all ecosystems. We have targeted some of the worst invasive species by consulting with international experts and analysing available data to identify species with serious impacts on biological diversity and/or human activities, and their illustration of important issues surrounding biological invasion.
As the database is continually being populated with species information, please check back on a regular basis for updates. See the site index for more information. If you have questions or comments about the GISD, please contact.
Please follow this link Pagad et al 2015 for more on the history of the GISD.