New framework released for addressing invasive species

By Dani Dagan

©National Park Service

If you forestall an invasion before it proliferates and spreads, you can anticipate impacts and protect lands and waters – that’s the foundation of a report released by the Department of Interior on Feb. 18.

The report follows the 2014 White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience’s priority agenda, which identified invasive species as one of the most pervasive threats to ecosystem resilience in a changing climate. Climate change can increase the potential for invasive species, so wildlife professionals need to develop appropriate mechanisms of response to enhance ecosystem resiliency. The 2014 report directs agencies to develop a plan for creating an emergency response fund to tackle emerging invasive species issues, and calls for a national Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) framework.

DOI’s new report develops principles and recommendations for such a framework, explaining that while EDRR is the second line of defense against invasive species – the first being barring entry – it receives less than half of the resources allocated to longer term control and management of invasive species.

The five recommendations for implementing EDRR included in the report are to establish an EDRR task force, garner cooperation to better align funding, incorporate EDRR into federal programs and partnerships, advance pilot programs in priority and aquatic landscapes, and foster development of EDRR capabilities.

For more information, see the Department of Interior’s press release and the Wildlife Society’s position statement on invasive species.

Dani Dagan is a policy intern at The Wildlife Society as part of the Government Affairs & Partnership program.

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