Thursday, 29 November 2007
- The European Commission is undertaking a public consultation related to Invasive Alien Species through Internet. You can participate by clicking here
- Last December (2007) the Spanish Government past the Law 42/2007 on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity which replaces the Law 4/89 on the Conservation of Natural Areas and Wild Flora and Fauna. BOE n. 299: 51275-51327.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
- The GEIB, entrusted by the Bern Convention (Council of Europe), is preparing a report on Invasive Alien Species and Climate Change . The first draft report was presented in the meeting of the Group of Experts on Biodiversity and Climate Change of the Bern Convention. Dates: 13-15 March 2008, Sevilla, Spain.
- The GEIB participated to the European Conference on Invasive Alien Species held in Madrid (Spain) the 15th-16th January 2008. The conference provided stakeholders an opportunity to meet and exchange knowledge on the issues involved in this matter. For more information http://www.fundacion-biodiversidad.info/eei/
- The GEIB participated in Sustainability Forum of the Pamplona City Council giving a series of lectures in the cycle Introduced and Invasive species: current situation. The initiative is part of the program run by the San Pedro Museum for Environmental Education. Dates: 2nd, 3rd and 4th October 2007.
The Atlantic Islands Initiative
Insular ecosystems are more vulnerable to biological invasions than the continental ones and the chance they suffer serious losses in terms of biodiversity due to IAS is higher. Nevertheless a successful management response to reduce and halt the risks of IAS is more feasible. Therefore initiatives to protect these special ecosystems are essential. The Atlantic Island Initiative aims to strengthen the conservation of the biodiversity of the Atlantic Islands based on scientific knowledge and cooperation among the involved stakeholders. One of the main steps of the present initiative is the execution of a pilot project on Risk Analysis for invasive alien species within the framework of prevention and early detection promoted by the GEIB.
Coordinator of the project: Laura Capdevila-Argüelles
Inconvenient guests: the prevention of biological invasions begins at school
Biological invasions are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity having also serious consequences on public health and local economies. Humans are the main cause of the problem, therefore it is an imperative that strategies dealing with invasive alien species should include elements designed to change human values, beliefs and behaviours in all sectors of the society. The solution to the problem requires the understanding and participation of citizens who could play a relevant role in the prevention of biological invasions by means of their choices in the global trade. In this framework “Inconvenient Guests” pretends to be one of the first contributions in Spain to improve the understanding and general knowledge on biological invasions by means of formal and informal education and a pioneering project in the field of didactics as well as a point of reference for the education sector.
Coordinator of the project: Bernardo Zilletti
Further information is available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/whaling/great-whale-trail
Join the campaign by giving a donation through the following link:
The first target is set for 2010.
Further information at: http://www.countdown2010.net/
We just want to say THANK YOU!
Sunday, 25 November 2007
- To halt the biodiversity loss caused by the introduction of Invasive Alien Species.
- To foment and develop actions and initiatives for the improvement of the knowledge and conservation of the biodiversity, and particularly all of those dealing with Invasive Alien Species and their impact on the environment, economy and public health.
- To ensure the ecologically sustainable and equitable use of natural resources.
- To foment equal opportunities in the scientific field.
- To encourage the collaboration among scientists whose field of research cover Invasive Alien Species.
The GEIB is specialized in:
- Biological invasions (surveys, management plans, etc.).
- Design of management strategies for Invasive Alien Species.
- Design of prevention plans for new introductions.
- Risks Analysis for species introduction.
- Legal aspects concerning Invasive Alien Species.
- Design of public awareness campaigns on the problem of biological invasions.
Participates in the production of strategies dealing with Invasive Alien Species.
Develops management strategies.
Edits official reports and technical documents.
Collaborates technically in the peer review of projects.
Provides technical assistance for national and international meetings and working groups.
Organises and plans conferences, talks, workshops and seminars.
Gives specialised courses on biological invasions.
Designs and edits specialised bibliography.
Being conscious of the global essence of the problem and that invasive alien species are unaware of political boundaries, the GEIB follows the development of international and national guidelines on invasive alien species very closely contributing to the debate for its drawing up and implementation.
The work of the GEIB is based on solid scientific criteria, working close to institutions, entities and sectors affected by Invasive Alien Species. The work of the GEIB is in keeping with the GISP (Global Invasive Species Programme) and the ISSG (Invasive Species Specialist Group) of the IUCN (World Conservation Union).
Our initiative has been awarded with:
- Joven y Brillante J&B 99 Award for Ecology
- Ones Mediterrània 2000 Award
- Ford Motor Company Award - Environmental Category 2001-2002
- Ford Motor Company National Award - 2001-2002
The TOP 20. The 20 worst invasive alien species present in Spain
Publication of free circulation: 115 pp.- 148 x 210 mm. Full colour, printed in recycled paper. Language: Spanish.
Funded by the Fundació Territori i Paisatge de Caixa Catalunya.
Click here for downloading (PDF)
The TOP 20. The 20 worst invasive alien species present in Spain
From the ecological perspective, native biodiversity is affected by increasing threats coming not from human activities only, but also from the overwhelming number of intentionally or unintentionally introduced alien species. Consumers habits together with the increase of global trade, transport and tourism, are contributing to increase an ecologic and economic threat of great magnitude. Fighting biological invasions is a must. It is not just an environmental issue; it’s a matter of development. Fighting IAS could not be an exclusive prerogative of governments, administrations or trade negotiators. The solution requires the understanding and participation of consumers who can influence the global market through their choices. In this framework The TOP 20. The 20 worst invasive alien species present in Spain, funded by the Fundació Territori i Paisatge of Caixa Catalunya pretends to be a contribution to improve the public understanding and knowledge on biological invasions, one of the worst problem of our time for the conservation of the biological diversity.
We wholeheartedly thank Teia Puigvert i Picart, Xavi Buqueras Carbonell, Rogelio Atance Vicente, Benito Fuertes Marcos, Virginia Carracedo Martín, Jose Esteban Durán, ZOEA, Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro (Área de Calidad), Carlos Sanz, Faunalia, Stephan Gollasch, Steve Raaymakers, Forest & Kim Starr (USGS), G. Procaccini and the Photo Library of the Benthos Ecology Lab. of the "A. Dohrn" Zoological Station of Naples, Gil Wojciech of the Polish Forest Research Institute, www.forestryimages.org, and the Picture Library of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science for giving us the permission to use their photos for the present publication.
The present publication has been made possible thanks to the work of those people who are dedicated to the study of biological invasions. The TOP 20 pretends to summarize their researches and related publications are quoted at the end of the book. References are not integrated in the text to make the text more readable and because of the informative essence of the book targeted to the general public (not scientists). We apologize if some authors felt offended because of their references are not included in the species fact-sheets.
We would like to thank the Fundació Territori i Paisatge de Caixa Catalunya for the funds they provided to the whole project and to the present publication.
The TOP 20 has been selected by RED LIFE readers as on of “The best 10 ideas to save the environment”.
According to the CBD the term "introduction" refers to the movement by human agency, indirect or direct, of an alien species outside of its natural range (past or present). This movement can be either within a country or between countries or areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Introductions could be:
Intentional: carried out deliberately by humans for specific purposes.
Unintentional: produced involuntarily, but always involving human means.
What is an alien species?
According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) the term "alien species" refers to a species, subspecies or lower taxon, introduced outside its natural past or present distribution; includes any part, gametes, seeds, eggs, or propagules of such species that might survive and subsequently reproduce.
The definition is based on ecological and biogeographical concepts but not on political or administrative basis.
Within a country an autochthonous species whose distribution range is circumscribed to a specific biogeographical area could become alien when introduced (intentionally or unintentionally) to other areas of the same country where it wouldn’t be present naturally.
What is an invasive alien species?
According to the definition of the IUCN, an invasive alien species is an alien species which becomes established in natural or semi-natural ecosystems or habitat, is an agent of change, and threatens native biological diversity.
According to the CBD, invasive alien species means an alien species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity.
The definition refers only to those species whose introduction (intentional or unintentional) is always caused by human activities. Under no circumstances the terms refers to biological invasions that occur naturally (self-spread of a species).
All alien species become invasive?
Not all alien species become invasive. Many of them don’t have a significant impact and others are beneficial. It has been estimated that “only” a 5-20% of the introduced species could become invasive. Nevertheless, in spite of the small percentage, their impact is of great magnitude.
How do they get to a new place?
Since the first human migrations, passing through the age of ancient civilizations and the epoch of great geographic discoveries, to modern and contemporary times, humans have moved for different reasons (nutrition, trade, science, etc.) an uncountable number of species.
Many of them, although aliens, entailed great benefits and are part of the everyday life (tomatoes, potatoes, red peppers, etc.). Other species affected ecosystems in a tangible way (e.g. islands of the Mediterranean basin) although they have been introduced so many time ago they are considered to be part of the naturalised fauna that is often supposed to be autochthonous erroneously.
The number of introductions has exponentially increased in the last century, particularly in last decades. The human capacity for eliminating geographical barriers not only speeded up the “introductions phenomenon” but also has annihilated two dominant factors of biology and evolution: the time and scale.
Trade, transport and tourism are at present the three main factors which contribute to the intentional and unintentional movement of species, increasing in such a way the likelihood some of them could turn in a new invasive species.
The highest speed of the means of transport is a critical factor for the establishment of new species because it reduces the mortality rate during the process of transfer. Other factors which could influence the speed of colonization have to be added to the previous one e.g. the characteristics of the area of introduction and its degree of perturbation, the effects of climate change, etc.
Not all invasions evolve in the same way. Their effect and interactions in the new ecosystem are in general unpredictable. Some species could have an explosive demographic growth and their impact becomes apparent in the short term after their arrival in a new place. On the other hand there are other species for which there is a time lag that could even belong many years between the establishment and their evolution into invasive. In spite of steps forward and efforts to detect common patterns in order to determine the invasive potential of a species or the response of a community against a biological invasion, our capacity of prediction is still deficient.
Whose is the problem?
Invasive alien species are prejudicial to all sectors, no-one is exempt. For example, an alien species that turns into an agricultural pest affects the producer, entails costs for authorities (costs for the mitigation) and hits consumers who can’t benefit from the product.
How to face invasive alien species?
CBD Guiding Principles 2: Three-stage hierarchical approach.
1. Prevention is generally far more cost-effective and environmentally desirable than measures taken following introduction and establishment of an invasive alien species.
2. Priority should be given to prevent the introduction of invasive alien species, between and within States. If an invasive alien species has been introduced, early detection and rapid action are crucial to prevent its establishment. The preferred response is often to eradicate the organisms as soon as possible (principle 13). In the event that eradication is not feasible or resources are not available for its eradication, containment (principle 14) and long-term control measures (principle 15) should be implemented. Any examination of benefits and costs (environmental, economic and social) should be done on a long-term basis.
Halting biological invasions is not an easy task because of the multiplicity of entry pathways and their dependence in the kind of introduction. A regulation system based on the Precautionary Approach and a solid inspection system could constitute effective weapons for intentional introductions (those carried out for specific purposes, e.g. the commercial exploitation of a species, landscaping, etc.). On the contrary, the prevention of unintentional introductions requires a deep knowledge of entry pathways and vectors.
The difficulty of halting introductions and minimising the impact of invasive alien species could lead to adopt stances pervaded of pessimism. However many successes in fighting invasive alien species have been achieved in the last years both eradicating species and developing tools to prevent their entry.
The adoption of new systems of inspection has been revealed very effective as well risk analysis permitted to avoid the entrance of invasive species in different occasions and the set up of lists which are, for some countries, a point of reference in order to authorize the entry of an alien species.
However due to a large number of limiting factors (e.g. the volume of transported species and/or goods, the capacity to predict the behaviour of a species in a new ecosystem, etc.) the exclusion of a species is not always possible.
If prevention fails and an alien species gets to a new site, its early detection and eradication become the most suitable management strategy. In this case time is a critical factor because the later occurs the intervention the greater possibilities of establishment and spread will have the new species.
The maintenance of already established species at low population levels is possible by means of different control techniques (mechanical, chemical, biological control) although they could have side effects on the autochthonous biodiversity. In these cases the objective itself (the control of the species) as well as the used method have to be submitted to a cost/benefits analysis.
Nevertheless it has to be taken into account although the use of mitigation techniques (eradication, contention and control) is necessary it meets with a series of obstacles mainly represented by the economic cost and social rejection.
The key of success to halt biological invasions involves the review of policies dealing with the conservation of biodiversity. The reshuffle of institutional and legal frameworks together with the development of national plans consistent with the CBD Guiding Principles and the measures proposed in the European Strategy on IAS, are steps that can’t be postponed. It is necessary to establish and co-ordinate efforts and competences, mobilize adequate human and economic resources and ensure their availability in the time.
Prevention is with no doubt the most effective strategy in the long-term. The fight against invasive alien species can’t be a task exclusive to the administration (border and quarantine officers). It requires the involvement of all stakeholders (trade sectors, hunters, fishermen, public, etc.) who get benefits (in the broad sense of the term) from the use of alien species. With this aim it is necessary to sensitize the above mentioned sectors and develop codes of best practices which application could become an usual habit.
GARDENING AND HORTICULTURE
Introduced invasive plants into gardens or artificial ponds could spread transported by the wind or animals such birds or small mammals.
At present we already know the invasive potential of a large number of ornamental plants for our ecosystems. For this reason, the first step we have to take is the avoidance and cultivation of these plants, some of them already known as invasive such the Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), the Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus edulis), the Sour Fig (C. acinaciformis), and the Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata).
Plant preferably native species (autochthonous). Although many alien species are not invasive, autochthonous plants offer other benefits by providing shelter and food to the native fauna.
When you buy seeds or plants both in a shop and through the Internet, pay particular attention to what are you purchasing because you could introduce a new invasive species. If you notice your usual plant nursery sells invasive plant species, express them your concern for problems arising from their potential introduction.
For any doubt it is preferable you consult an expert.
We can advice you.
Avoid purchasing seeds mixtures, especially those labelled as “wild flowers” as well as those which labels don’t provide information on the product.
Many of these mixtures contain invasive alien species.
Artificial ponds are becoming every day more popular as decorative elements for gardens. Before purchasing your plants consult with some expert in botany (universities, botanic gardens, conservation organizations, etc.). Likewise never throw aquatic ornamental plants from your garden or aquarium to waters or drainage systems.
Many aquatic alien plants are highly invasive and cause irreversible damages to rivers, lakes and pools.
Remind many invasive alien plants can spread from seeds but from fragments too.
Never transport water, plants or animals from one waterbody to another!
BOATING AND FISHING
In particular do not release live fish or crayfishes. Likewise never release live baits (fishes or invertebrates) because they can adapt to the new environment. Under no circumstances, dump the bait packaging and/or remaining baits to the water. Use plastic bag and throw them into the trash.
Clean your boat by eliminating aquatic animal and plants embedded in the hull or from intakes, engines, propellers including trailers. Take extra care when washing especially in areas where invasive alien species are present to avoid their spread.
Remind that the washing must be carried out far from waters to avoid that organisms you eliminate have the chance to get there.
If you couldn’t manage to keep off embedded organisms with hot high-pressure water, wait for a week before using your boat in another waterbody.
If you are an angler clean carefully your gear (boots, nets, etc.) to prevent the spread of larvas and pathogens (e.g.. Aphanomices astaci).
A pet is for good!
If you decide to buy an exotic pet purchase it from shops where animals are properly certified, legally imported and parasites or diseases free.
Gather and demand information on your pet. What geographic area is it from? What kind of habitat does it leave in its country of origin? What is its scientific name? What does it eat?
This information will help you to take the better care over your pet and indirectly to protect your local environment.
Never release your aquarium fishes into a waterbody because they could establish stable populations and affect native fishes (depredation, competence for food, transmission of diseases, etc.). Likewise do not throw your ornamental aquarium (marine or freshwater) plants into rivers, ponds, estuary areas and sea.
If you no longer want your fishes try to return them to a specialised shop, give them to another hobbyist or donate them to a friend or a school.
Never release or abandon cats and dogs. They could cause serious damages by preying on small native mammals and birds populations.
Never release alien reptiles and amphibians (iguanas, red-eared sliders) because they may prey on a wide variety of native species and transmit diseases.
Protect yourself and your pet from new diseases and their vectors. Empty containers accumulating water because of the risk of alien mosquitoes breed in.
Never carry undeclared animals, plants, soil, seeds, etc., when arriving or leaving the country.
Do not try to smuggle or carry animal products. Thy can be infected by pathogens causing infectious diseases to animals. Their introduction in the EU countries is submitted to sanitary controls.
To avoid administrative or criminal sanctions, travellers ought to know their obligation to submit these products to official controls.
Clean your boots soles and your gear before staring a trekking in a new area. Many weeds spread as hitchhikers under your boots or in your gear.
Abide by customs obligations and collaborate with inspection services to prevent the introduction of diseases, pests and other unwanted organisms.
Spread the information on threats related to invasive alien species sharing it with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc.
Learn how to recognize the more important invasive alien species. If you think you have found a new source of invasions, please contact immediately with us. Early detection is the key to avoid successfully a new invasion.
- To draw the attention of scientists and technicians to a problem of great concern for the conservation of biodiversity.
- To set up a network of experts and people interested in the problem.
- To foment the exchange of information and ideas on this subject.
- To act as a focal point by gathering the available information to search quick solutions to specific problems.
- To foment debates on specific problems and their solutions.
- To co-ordinate common actions and policies by fomenting the collaboration among different groups.
- To increase the information about the potential consequences of the introduction of allochthonous species that affects the biodiversity of the Iberian Peninsula.
- To inform subscribers about national and international conferences, workshops, courses on the subject.
- To set up: i) a first accessible database on invasive alien species of the Iberian Peninsula set up with the help of the information that subscribers could provide; ii) a database of summarised debates and conclusions; iii) a database of useful contact addresses.
- To maintain the database set up within the group updated along the time.
- To offer a tool for work-sharing among subscribers.
Who can subscribe to INVASORAS: all individuals of any nationality who are interested in the subject of the list. Spanish is the official language of the list.
How to subscribe to the list
To take part in INVASORAS is easy. You only need to subscribe by sending an e-mail without a subject to: email@example.com with the message: “suscribe INVASORAS” (without quotation marks and writing INVASORAS in capital letters). RedIris will send you a message containing a short form to fill in that should be sent back to same e-mail address. You have only to wait for a message confirming you are accepted
Detailed instructions for using the list (subscribe, unsubscribe, options, etc.) are available at: http://www.rediris.es/list/info/invasoras.es.html
Sending of e-mails: restricted (members of the list only).
All subscriptions have to come through RedIris compulsorily. The policy of RedIris makes the GEIB turn down subscriptions that are sent straight to the group.
GISP - Global Invasive Species Programme
The GISP was founded in 1997 to face the global threat of invasive alien species and to support the implementation of the article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The mission of the GISP is the conservation of the biodiversity and the preservation of the human well being by minimising the spread and impacts of invasive alien species.
ISSG - Invasive Species Specialist Group
The ISSG is part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It is made up of 150 experts on invasive species from 41 countries. ISSG provide advice on threat from biological invasions and control and eradication methods to IUCN members, conservation practitioners and policy-makers. Its activities are mainly focused on invasive species that cause biodiversity loss, with particular attention to those that threaten oceanic islands.
Global Ballast Water Management Programme
The GEF/UNDP/IMO Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast) helps countries to reduce the transfer of aquatic nuisances and pathogens through ballast water as well as to put into practice the IMO guidelines for ballast waters.
Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe.
North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species.
CIESM - The Mediterranean Science Commission
Funded in 1910, the CIESM is one of the most long-standing and lasting intergovernmental scientific organization of the world. It promotes marine sciences for the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea.
NISIC - National Invasive Species Information Center (EEUU)
Invasivespecies.gov is the US gateway to Federal and State invasive species efforts. In this web you can learn about the impact of invasive species and the governmental response to the problem. You can also find selected reading material and links into agencies and organizations dealing with biological invasions.
IPPC - International Plant Protection Convention
The IPPC is an international treaty to secure action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control. The treaty extends the wild flora protection.
CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity
The Conference of the Parties for Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most important body for decision making on biodiversity.
IBI - Institute for Biological Invasions
The Institute for Biological Invasions is located in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Tennessee (USA).The web site is of great interest, especially for the quality of its resources section and very recommended to gain knowledge of biological invasions.
The Bern Convention
The Bern Convention is a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers the whole of the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some States of Africa. Its aims are to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European co-operation in that field.
SCOPE – Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment
An interdisciplinary body of natural and social science expertise focused on global environmental issues.
The objective of InvasIBER is to provide a platform in the Internet open to all interested specialists for spreading information on IAS in the Iberian Peninsula.
Phoron is a joint Project between two independent organizations: The SEA Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa (Aragonese Entomological Society) and the GEIB Grupo Especialista en Invasiones Biológicas. Phoron will focus its activities on the study of alien and invasive arthropods, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula and its archipelagos.
GAE - Grupo Aves Exóticas
Alien Species and Nature Conservation in the EU: The Role of the LIFE program http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/publications/lifepublications/lifefocus/documents/alienspecies_en.pdf In English. 2,11 MB.
Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species
Docs for download. In English. Available also in French and Spanish. 719 Kb.
A Toolkit of Best Prevention and Management Practices
Docs for download. In English. Available also in French and Spanish. 2,5 MB.
A Guide to Designing Legal and Institutional Frameworks on Alien Invasive Species http://www.iucn.org/themes/law/pdfdocuments/eplp40en.pdf
In English. Aprox. 1,2 MB.
100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species
In English. Available also in Spanish. Aprox. 1,3 MB.
Guidelines for the control and management of ship’ ballast water to minimize the transfer of harmul aquatic organisms and pathogens
Available in English, French, Spanish,Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese.
Harmful non-indigenous species in the United States
In English. 8,64 MB.
Weed Control Methods Handbook
Status and Trends of the Nation’s Biological Resources http://www.hear.org/AlienSpeciesInHawaii/articles/hawaii_and_the_pacific.pdf
In English. 2,93 MB.
An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating non-native plants for their impact on biodiversity
In English. 1,06 MB.
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests. A Field Guide for Identification and Control http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/gtr/gtr_srs062/
In English. 1,6 MB.
Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas
In English. 3,8 MB.
Biologist she is specialized in Ecology and Environmental Technology. After the degree, keen on diving, she focused her work on the study of the marine benthos in the Cantabrian Sea. Later she took a stage at the University of Concepción in Chile developing her own project on the Chilean arachnofauna. She combined her activity as biologist with the work as expert in mountain sports and climbing another of her passions. Since 1998 she works on Invasive Alien Species within the GEIB Grupo Especialista en Invasiones Biológicas which is currently chairing. She worked as consultant for the Spanish Ministry of Environment and the Council of Europe on subjects related to biological invasions. She is author of the National Action Plan on IAS commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Environment. As consultant of the Council of Europe she carried out the follow up of the implementation of the European Strategy on IAS in the countries which are part of the Bern Convention. In 2004 she worked as technical assistant in the Republic of Moldova on problems arising from species introductions. She participates actively in several international forums with outstanding speeches to many meetings of the Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats) as expert of the Council of Europe. She is member of the Invasive Species Specialist Group of the IUCN, the Group of Experts on Invasive Alien Species of the Bern Convention (Council of Europe) and the Expert Group 5 ‘Trends in invasive alien species’ (SEBI 2010).
Biologist, he got the degree in Biological Sciences in 1993 from the University of Florence (Italy). After the degree he spent four months in New Zealand working as a volunteer in several centres of the Department of Conservation (DoC) (1993-1994) and other three months in 1994 contracted for the “Conservation of Dana Wildlands” Project. In 1996 he started his PhD in Spain at the University of León granted by the University of Florence.
Since 1998 he works on Invasive Alien Species within the GEIB Grupo Especialista en Invasiones Biológicas dealing with subjects related to IAS prevention and policies design to halt them. He worked as consultant of the Council of Europe and the Spanish Ministry of Environment participating in several international meetings and collaborating in the writing up of the Spanish Action Plan on IAS. He is member of the Invasive Species Specialist Group of the IUCN, Group of Experts on Invasive Alien Species of the Bern Convention (Council of Europe) and the Expert Group 5 ‘Trends in invasive alien species’ (SEBI 2010).