About ISNI

Welcome to the Invasive Species Northern Ireland website.

This site was set up and is managed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) Team. NIEA is an agency of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). The Agency is a key contributor to DAERA’s vision of ‘Sustainability at the heart of a living, working, active landscape valued by everyone’.

The site was set up to help anyone interested in learning more about INNS and to facilitate those working on the subject in Northern Ireland. We hope that you will use our website to:

  1. Learn more about invasive species, where they come from and what they look like
  2. Send in records of your invasive species sightings
  3. Understand your responsibility under Northern Ireland invasive species legislation
  4. Learn how you can play a role in helping to stop the introduction and spread of INNS
  5. Access practical advice for managing invasive species once they have arrived

6. Access and download useful free resources for yourself, your club or organisation, 

History of ISNI

The ISNI website launched in May 2022, in tandem with the National Biodiversity Centre’s (NBDC) launch of their new website (www.invasives.ie). The formation of these two new websites, one covering Northern Ireland and the other Ireland, replaced the older ‘Invasive Species Ireland’ website. The original website covered both jurisdictions and was set-up under the ‘Invasive Species Ireland’ project, which ended in March 2013.  

Although there are two different websites, we still work closely with colleagues in the NBDC, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine (DAFM).

A good example of joint projects is the upcoming Shared Island Invasive Species and Biosecurity Initiative which will run from 2024 to 2029 and will include;

  • Strategic all-island risk assessments and trend analysis
  • A Biosecurity Awareness Plan
  • Development of catchment level aquatic management measures coordinated across key border catchments/regions
  • Shared Island Rapid Response Contingency Plans
  • Shared Island Pathway Action Plans and alignment of existing Pathway Action Plans
  • A Citizen Science Invasive Species Programme
  • Three Invasive Species Conferences across the five years of the project

What does NIEA Invasive Non-Native Species Team do?

The NIEA Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) Team covers a diverse range of duties, but broadly, our role can be split into two main categories; enforcement and outreach.


The team enforces EU Regulation (1143/2014) on Invasive Alien Species via the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019. Under this legislation, we enforce the removal of Northern Ireland’s 11 Widely Spread Species and all other Species of Union Concern on private and public land. We receive records of these invasive species, and their locations across Northern Ireland, through our official surveillance scheme (CEDaR/iRecord), where anyone can submit an invasive species sighting for the team to verify. Alongside this, we work with partner organisations to prevent the illegal introduction and trade of Species of Union Concern into and across Northern Ireland. We also develop rapid response contingency plans and Pathway Action Plans (PAPs) which aim to help prevent the introduction of invasive species into Northern Ireland’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.

The NIEA INNS Team works collaboratively and shares information with all eight British-Irish Council (BIC) administrations (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, UK, Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey) to coordinate action on invasive species. This partnership is invaluable, particularly in relation to new introductions. Once a new species is detected, all BIC administrations are notified so that early detection measures, and if necessary, a rapid response can be put in place.


This website is regularly updated by the INNS Team to provide users with clear and up-to-date information and guidance on invasive species in relation to Northern Ireland. The team produces resources aimed at raising awareness of invasive species and how we can all play our part in stopping their spread. To help improve public knowledge of invasive species, the legislation surrounding them, and our awareness-raising campaigns, the team provides educational talks to various groups and organisations, and at wider outreach events. The team can be contacted to provide advice on matters such as invasive species identification, management, and prevention. In addition to the Invasive Species Northern Ireland Website, the team manage a Twitter and Facebook account, which can be followed to receive regular news and information on invasive species in Northern Ireland.

The INNS team can be contacted directly via:

Email: invasivespecies@daera-ni.gov.uk

Telephone: 028 9056 9558

Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland