Management policies for invasive alien species: Addressing the impacts rather than the species

Pablo Garcia Diaz* (Corresponding Author), Phillip Cassey, Grant L. Norbury, Xavier Lambin, Lia Montti, José Cristóbal Pizarro, Priscila A. Powell, David F.R.P. Burslem, Mário Cava, Gabriella Damasceno, Laura Fasola, Alessandra Fidelis, Magdalena F. Huerta, Bárbara Langdon, Eirini Linardaki, Jaime Moyano, Martín A. Nuñez, Aníbal Pauchard, Euan Phimister, Eduardo RaffoIgnacio Roesler, Ignacio Rodríguez-Jorquera, Jorge A. Tomasevic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Effective long-term management is needed to address the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) that cannot be eradicated. We describe the fundamental characteristics of long-term management policies for IAS, diagnose a major shortcoming, and outline how to produce effective IAS management. Key international and transnational management policies conflate addressing IAS impacts with controlling IAS populations. This serious purpose–implementation gap can preclude the development of broader portfolios of interventions to tackle IAS impacts. We posit that IAS management strategies should directly address impacts via impact-based interventions, and we propose six criteria to inform the choice of these interventions. We review examples of interventions focused on tackling IAS impacts, including IAS control, which reveal the range of interventions available and their varying effectiveness in counteracting IAS impacts. As the impacts caused by IAS increase globally, stakeholders need to have access to a broader and more effective set of tools to respond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174–185
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

The research and a workshop (December 2019, Centro
Científico Tecnológico Patagonia Norte, San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina) where the ideas presented in the manuscript arose and were discussed were funded by Project CONTAIN funded under the Latin American Biodiversity Programme as part of the Newton Fund (grant
no. NE/S011641/1), with contributions from NERC, the
Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council
(CONICET grant no. 2019-74-APN-DIR#CONICET), the
Brazilian São Paulo Research Foundation (grant no. FAPESP
2018/14995-8), and the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT). Three anonymous reviewers provided feedback that helped us improve earlier versions of our article. AF was supported by a productivity grant (no. CNPq 303988/2018-5). GD was
supported by PhD scholarship FAPESP no.2018/09054-0. JCP thanks the support of the Center for the Socioeconomic Impact of Environmental Policies, CESIEP of The
Millennium Science Initiative (MSI) of Chile. Servicio Agricola y Ganadero, Gobierno de Chile, is one of the
CONTAIN project partners, and it is represented by ER in this article. However, the opinions and results presented in this document are entirely those from ER and may not represent SAG position on the topic


  • alien species
  • decision criteria
  • impact-based management
  • population control and suppression
  • uncertaintiy


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