Given the damage to biodiversity caused by IAS, it is essential to:

  • be able to act on the introduction of such species, particularly those not yet present in Europe;
  • manage those that are already established on European soil.

This is the objective of Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 which came into force in the European Union in January 2015.

Invasive Alien Species of Union concern

This regulation sets out the rules designed to prevent, minimise and mitigate the adverse effects on biodiversity of the introduction and propagation of invasive alien species considered to be of concern in the Member States of the Union.

The “concerning” character of an invasive alien species is determined after a risk assessment carried out according to objective criteria. These scientific studies are generally carried out by the Member States even though the European Commission may also carry them out itself.

The European Commission draws up the list of invasive alien species of concern to the European Union. The procedure is conducted using the committee procedure during which the Commission asks Member States to vote in favour of or against a list of species the scientific relevance of which has been previously validated by the European Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species. This list changes and is regularly updated to reflect emerging species of concern to the EU.

Four lists have already been adopted since 2020. A total of 41 plants and 47 animals are on the European list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern. Two posters include illustrations of the majority of the plants and animals species concerned. 

1. Plants

You can order this poster.

  • 15 aquatic plants:
Alternanthera philoxeroides Alligator weed
Cabomba caroliniana Carolina fanwort
Eichhornia crassipes Water hyacinth
Elodea nuttallii Nuttall's waterweed
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides Senegal tea plant
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides Floating pennywort
Lagarosiphon major Curly waterweed
Ludwigia grandiflora Water-primrose
Ludwigia peploides Floating primrose-willow
Lysichiton americanus American skunk cabbage
Myriophyllum aquaticum Parrot's feather
Myriophyllum heterophyllum Broadleaf watermilfoil
Pistia stratiotes Water lettuce (from 2 August 2024)
Rugulopterix okamurae Rugulopterix okamurae
Salvinia molesta Kariba weed
  • 6 trees:
Acacia saligna Coojong
Ailanthus alissima Tree of heaven
Baccharis halimifolia Eastern baccharis
Hakea sericea Needlebush
Prosopis juliflora Mesquite
Triadica sebifera Chinese tallow tree
  • 5 grasses:
Andropogon virginicus Broomsedge bluestem
Cortaderia jubata Purple pampas grass
Ehrharta calycina Perennial veldt grass
Microstegium vimineum Nepalese browntop
Pennisetum setaceum Fountain grass
  • 6 climbing plants:
Cardiospermum grandiflorum Balloon vine
Celastrus orbiculatus Staff vine (from 2 August 2024)
Humulus scandens Japanese hop
Lygodium japonicum Japanese climbing fern
Persicaria perfoliata Asiatic tearthumb
Pueraria montana (var lobata) Kudzu
  • 9 others:
Asclepias syriaca Common milkweed
Gunnera tinctoria Giant rhubarb
Heracleum mantegazzianum Giant hogweed
Heracleum persicum Persian hogweed
Heracleum sosnowskyi Sosnowskyi's hogweed
Impatiens glandulifera Himalayan balsam
Koenigia polystachya Himalayan knotweed
Lespedeza cuneata Chinese bushclover
Parthenium hysterophorus Parthenium weed

2. Animals

You can order this poster.

a) 33 vertebrates

  • 13 mammals:
Axis axis Chital
Callosciurus erythraeus Pallas's squirrel
Calloscirius finlaysonii Finlayson's squirrel
Herpestes javanicus Small Indian mongoose
Muntiacus reevesi Chinese muntjac
Myocastor coypus Coypu
Nasua nasua South American coati
Nyctereutes procyonoides Raccoon dog
Ondatra zibethicus Muskrat
Procyon lotor Northern raccoon
Sciurus carolinensis (Eastern) grey squirrel
Sciurus niger Fox squirrel
Tamias sibiricus Siberian chipmunk
  • 6 birds:
Acridotheres tristis Common myna
Alopochen aegyptiacus Egyptian goose
Corvus splendens House crow
Oxyura jamaicensis  Ruddy duck
Pycnonotus cafer Red-vented bulbul
Threskiornis aethiopicus Sacred ibis
  • 4 reptiles and amphibians:
Lampropeltis getula Common kingsnake
Lithobates catesbeianus American bullfrog
Trachemys scripta Pond slider
Xenopus laevis African clawed frog (from 2 August 2024)
  • 10 fish:
Ameirus melas Black bullhead
Channa argus Northern snakehead
Fundulus heteroclitus Mummichog (from 2 August 2024)
Gambusia affinis Western mosquitofish
Gambusia holbrookii Eastern mosquitofish
Lepomis gibbosus Pumpkinseed
Morone americana White perch
Perccottus glenii Amur sleeper
Pseudorasbora parva Topmouth gudgeon
Plotosus lineatus Striped eel catfish

b) 14 invertebrates

Arthurdendyus triangulatus New Zealand flatworm
Eriocheir sinensis Chinese mitten crab
Faxonius rusticus Rusty crayfish
Faxionus limosus Spinycheek crayfish
Faxionus virilis Virile crayfish
Limnoperna fortunei Golden mussel
Pacifastacus leniusculus Signal crayfish
Procambarus clarkii Red swamp crayfish
Procambarus fallax f. virginalis Marbled crayfish
Solenopsis geminata Tropical fire ant
Solenopsis invicta Red imported fire ant
Solenopsis richteri Black imported fire ant
Vespa velutina nigrithorax Asian hornet
Wasmannia auropunctata Little fire ant

The Scientific Secretariat on IAS has published an information guide on the species on the European list.