Horizon scanning for potential invasive non-native species across the United Kingdom Overseas Territories

Wayne Dawson*, Jodey M. Peyton, Oliver L. Pescott, Tim Adriaens, Elizabeth J. Cottier-Cook, Danielle S. Frohlich, Gillian Key, Chris Malumphy, Angeliki F. Martinou, Dan Minchin, Niall Moore, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Stephanie L. Rorke, Elena Tricarico, Katharine M.A. Turvey, Ian J. Winfield, David K.A. Barnes, Diane Baum, Keith Bensusan, Frederic J. BurtonPeter Carr, Peter Convey, Alison I. Copeland, Darren A. Fa, Liza Fowler, Emili García-Berthou, Albert Gonzalez, Pablo González-Moreno, Alan Gray, Richard W. Griffiths, Rhian Guillem, Antenor N. Guzman, Jane Haakonsson, Kevin A. Hughes, Ross James, Leslie Linares, Norbert Maczey, Stuart Mailer, Bryan Naqqi Manco, Stephanie Martin, Andrea Monaco, David G. Moverley, Christine Rose-Smyth, Jonathan Shanklin, Natasha Stevens, Alan J. Stewart, Alexander G.C. Vaux, Stephen J. Warr, Victoria Werenkaut, Helen E. Roy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Invasive non-native species (INNS) are recognized as a major threat to island biodiversity, ecosystems, and economies globally. Preventing high-risk INNS from being introduced is the most cost-effective way to avoid their adverse impacts. We applied a horizon scanning approach to identify potentially INNS in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (OTs), ranging from Antarctica to the Caribbean, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic. High-risk species were identified according to their potential for arrival, establishment, and likely impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function, economies, and human health. Across OTs, 231 taxa were included on high-risk lists. The highest ranking species were the Asian green mussel (Perna viridis), little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata), brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), and mesquite tree (Prosopis juliflora). Shipping containers were identified as the introduction pathway associated with the most species. The shared high-risk species and pathways identified provide a guide for other remote islands and archipelagos to focus ongoing biosecurity and surveillance aimed at preventing future incursions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12928
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • U.K. Overseas Territories (UKOTs)
  • biological invasions
  • biosecurity
  • exotic species
  • horizon scanning
  • introduced species
  • islands
  • non-native species
  • risk assessment


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