Invasive Species Specialist Group
The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) is a global network of scientific and policy experts on invasive species, organized under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The ISSG was established in 1994. It currently has 196 core members from over 40 countries and a wide informal global network of over 2000 conservation practitioners and experts who contribute to its work.
The homogenization of biodiversity through the intentional and unintentional introduction of invasive species is accelerating. Increased global trade, transport and tourism, has expanded the movements of organisms from one part of the world to another through newly created pathways.
Many species introduced into new environments are unable to survive in their new surroundings. However, a percentage of these species are able to expand the area they infest and negatively impact the economy, human health or ecology of a region and are termed invasive. Habitat alteration and invasive species impacts have been the major cause of species extinctions over the past few hundred years, increasing the rate of extinction by about 1,000 percent. Although in the past, many of these losses have gone unrecorded, today, there is an increasing realization of the ecological costs of biological invasion in terms of irretrievable loss of native biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem functioning. While the underlying causes of invasive species threats are significant and global in nature, these threats can be effectively dealt with through collaborative efforts at regional and local levels, especially through prevention, early detection and rapid response.