European Union

The EU Regulation (1143/2014) on invasive alien (non-native) species background;

Alien species are species that have been transported outside their natural ecological range as a result of human action. The vast majority are unable to survive in an unfamiliar environment without human intervention and eventually die off. But some species manage to adapt to their new surroundings and eventually establish themselves in the wild, where they can cause significant ecological and economic damage. These are known as Invasive Alien Species (IAS).
IAS are defined as species whose introduction and spread outside their natural ecological range poses a real threat to biodiversity and the economy. It is estimated that there are already over 12,000 alien species present in Europe, of which around 10–15% are invasive. They occur in all major taxonomic groups, ranging from mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and plants to fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms. They are also found in every type of habitat, both on land and in the surrounding seas. All EU Member States have problems with IAS on their territory to a greater or lesser extent.

  • On 14 July 2016 the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1141 which sets out an initial list of 37 species to which EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation 1143/2014 will apply. There were further updates in 2017 and 2019, and the current list now contains 66 Species of Union Concern. The corresponding Northern Ireland legislation, The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019  came into force on 1st December 2019.
  • All of these species have been accepted as meeting agreed criteria concerning their invasiveness and ability to establish in several Member States.
  • The aim of this new regime is to prevent or manage the introduction, or spread, of invasive non-native species across the European Union.
  • In order to achieve this aim the EU Regulation requires Member States to put in place surveillance and rapid response mechanisms and to develop Management Measures, as per the Regulation.
  • Listing imposes restrictions on the commercial keeping, sale, and transporting of the listed plants and animals, and their intentional breeding or release.
  • A permit scheme will be in operation to allow derogations from some of these restrictions (other than their release) but only in very limited circumstances.
The 66 Species of Union Concern Listed are;

Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)

Japanese hop (Humulus scandens)

American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

Asiatic tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata)

Kudzu vine (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

Balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)

Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora)

Broadleaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum)

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

 Broomsedge bluestem (Anthropogon virginicus)

Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)

Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria)

Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

Chinese bushclover (Lespedeza cuneata/Lespedeza juncea var sericea)

Perennial veldtgrass (Ehrharta calycina)

Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera/Sapium sebiferum)

Persian hogweed (Heracleum persicum)

Crimson fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Purple pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata)

Curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major)

Salvinia moss (Salvinia molesta/Salvinia adnate)

Eastern baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia)

Senegal tea plant (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides)

Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)

Sosnowsky’s hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi)

Floating primrose willow (Ludwigia peploides)

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Vine-like fern (Lygodium japonicum)

Golden wreath wattle (Acacia saligna/Acacia cyanophylla)

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Green cabomba/Carolina fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)

Water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora)

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Whitetop weed (Parthenium hysterophorus)
Amur sleeper (Percottus glenii)

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Bryant’s fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) Raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)
Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Common myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Red-eared, yellow bellied & Cumberland sliders (terrapin) (Trachemys scripta spp.)

Coypu (Myocaster coypus)

Ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) Sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus)
Indian house crow (Corvus splendens) Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
Marbled crayfish (Procambarus fallax) Small Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanaicus)
Muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi) South American coati (Nasua nasua)  
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) Spiny – cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus)
New Zealand flatworm (Arthurdendyus triangulatus) Striped eel catfish (Plotosus lineatus)
North American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)
Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus) Virile (northern) crayfish (Orconectes virilis)


Updated N.I. FAQs now available;

Other Information and resources;

Summary brochure of the currently listed invasive alien species of Union concern

Current full list of Species of Union Concern

 Species of Union Concern Poster/Leaflet (showing some of the plants listed)

Species of Union Concern Poster/Leaflet (showing some of the animals listed)

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland