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 set out an initial list of 37 species to which EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation 1143/2014 applies. There were further updates in 2017, 2019 and 2022, and the current list now contains 88 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 88 Species of Union Concern Listed are;



Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)

American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

Kudzu vine (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

Asiatic tearthumb (Persicaria perfoliata)

Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora)

Balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Broadleaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum)

Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)

 Broomsedge bluestem (Anthropogon virginicus)

Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Brown seaweed (Rugulopteryx okamurae)

Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria)

Perennial veldtgrass (Ehrharta calycina)

Chinese bushclover (Lespedeza cuneata/Lespedeza juncea var sericea)

Persian hogweed (Heracleum persicum)

Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera/Sapium sebiferum)

Purple pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata)

Crimson fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Salvinia moss (Salvinia molesta/Salvinia adnate)

Curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major)

Senegal tea plant (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides)

Eastern baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia)

Silky hakea (Hakea sericea)

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 lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Green cabomba/Carolina fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora)

Himalayan knotweed (Koenigia polystachya)

Whitetop weed (Parthenium hysterophorus)

Japanese hop (Humulus scandens)




African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

North American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

Amur sleeper (Percottus glenii)

Northern snakehead (Channa argus)

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus)

Black bullhead catfish (Ameiurus melas)

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

Black fire ant (Solenopsis richteri)

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Bryant’s fox squirrel (Sciurus niger)

Raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)

Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

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

Chital/spotted deer (Axis axis)

Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)

Common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula)

Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Common myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

Coypu (Myocaster coypus)

Ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)

Rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus)

Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

Electric ant (Wasmannia auropunctata)

Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus)

Finlayson’s squirrel (Callosciurus finalysonii)

Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)

Golden Mussel (Limnoperna fortunei)

Small Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanaicus)

Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

South American coati (Nasua nasua)  

Indian house crow (Corvus splendens)

Spiny – cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus)

Marbled crayfish (Procambarus fallax)

Striped eel catfish (Plotosus lineatus)

Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)

Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)

Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus)

Tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata)

Muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi)

Virile (northern) crayfish (Orconectes virilis)

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)

White perch (Morone americana)

New Zealand flatworm (Arthurdendyus triangulatus)







Invasive Alien Animals Poster

Produced by the IAS Secretariat Belgium

Updated N.I FAQs now available




Invasive Alien Plants Poster

Produced by the IAS Secretariat Belgium


An Introduction to the Invasive Alien Species Regulation

Produced by the European Commission


Other Information and resources;

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


Current full list of Species of Union Concern

Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland