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Non-native species are animals or plants that have been introduced (deliberately or accidentally) by human activity into an area in which they do not naturally occur.

Invasive non-native species (INNS), sometimes referred to as 'invasive alien species', are those non-native species that have the ability to spread rapidly and become dominant in an area or ecosystem, causing adverse ecological, environmental and economic impacts. Some invasive non-native species can also affect human health.

It is important to remember that, while there are over 900 non-native species in Scotland, only a minority become invasive, but these few can have serious negative impacts.

In Scotland, it is illegal to release, plant or allow to spread any non-native species into the wild.

We need information on where invasive non-native species occur, especially new arrivals in Scotland, to support management including biosecurity and, in some cases, eradication. Through this site, we would like to encourage the submission of records on the most concerning and damaging invasive non-native species.

 

Non-native species of concern

Given the numerous environmental, health and economic impacts that invasive non-native species can cause, there is a pressing need to understand which invasive non-native species species are currently found where in Scotland, if they are spreading and establishing and, particularly importantly, to be aware as early as possible when new invasive non-native species arrive for the first time.

There are a number of reasons why we wish to record invasive non-native species in Scotland. Each invasive non-native species fits into one of the following categories, each of which would require different responses from the relevant authorities and other responsible or affected parties:

  1. The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible
  2. The species recently arrived in Scotland and new records are essential
  3. The species is already in Scotland in localised populations and we need to understand distribution better to support management
  4. The species is already widespread in some areas of Scotland and we need to know about new populations in new areas

The first ten invasive non-native species of concern to feature on this site are presented here, by the type of habitat where the species is most likely to be found. The Scottish statutory organisations dealing with invasive non-native species are, with the help of a range of partners, developing a longer list of invasive non-native species of the greatest concern which will, in due course, be included here.

Species Photograph Why record this? Additional information Record this species

Freshwater

North American Signal Crayfish

(Pacifastacus lenisculus)

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© Copyright Trevor Renals

Species is already in Scotland in localised populations and we need to understand distribution better to support management Click here for more information I wish to submit a record
Zebra Mussel

(Dreissena polymorpha)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS

The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible Click here for more information I wish to submit a record
Killer Shrimp

(Dikerogammarus villosus)

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© Copyright Environment Agency

The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible Click here for more information I wish to submit a record
New Zealand Pigmyweed

(Crassula helmsii)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS

The species is already in Scotland in localised populations and we need to understand distribution better to support management Click here for more information I wish to submit a record

Woodland habitats

Muntjac Deer

(Muntiacus species)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS

The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible Click here for more information I wish to submit a record

Other land habitats and vertebrate INNS

American Skunk Cabbage

(Lysichiton americanus)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS

The species is already in Scotland in localised populations and we need to understand distribution better to support management Click here for more information I wish to submit a record
Raccoon

(Procyon lotor)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS
The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible Click here for more information I wish to submit a record
Ruddy Duck

(Oxyura jamaicensis)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS
Species is already in Scotland in localised populations and we need to understand distribution better to support management Click here for more information I wish to submit a record

Marine habitats

Chinese Mitten Crab

(Eriocheir sinensis)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland* and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible

*There is a record of a dead mitten crab from the River Clyde in 2014 but it has not yet been verified as a live species in Scotland.

Click here for more information

I wish to submit a record
Slipper Limpet

(Crepidula fornicata)

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© Crown Copyright 2009 GBNNSS
The species is not currently in the wild in Scotland and new records are essential, particularly where a rapid response to tackle the problem is possible Click here for more information I wish to submit a record

 

What will happen to my report?

iRecord

When you send a report in through this portal on Scotland's environment web, we send it straight to the iRecord website. iRecord is a website for sharing wildlife observations, including associated photos. Your data will be kept secure and will be regulary backed up. Automatic checks will be applied to you observations to help spot potential errors, and experts can review your sightings.

iRecord data are stored in a secure database, are archived daily and accessible to anyone via the website. Records entered will also be available to relevant individuals and organisations, e.g. recording schemes and societies, local record centres and the Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data (DASSH), at full capture resolution to enable verification and sharing via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.

Wherever possible, verified data will be made freely publicly available, data will be automatically supplied from iRecord to the National Biodiversity Network Gateway on behalf of National Recording Schemes. For other schemes, data from iRecord will be collated alongside other datasets before being made available to the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.

 

Report a non-native species

If you would like to record any non-native species not supported by this form, you can record it directly on iRecord, or via the Scottish Environment and Rural Services (SEARS) email: info@sears.scotland.gov.uk or 24/7 customer service phone line: 08452 30 20 50

You will need to provide information on the species seen, the date you saw it, the number of individuals / area covered, and a description of the location (with grid reference if possible). If you have any photographs they would also be very helpful.


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