Switzerland

Threats, policies,challenges

Invasive exotic species in Switzerland

%

are invasive plants

are vertebrates

is an orchard-eating bacteria

Harmful species invasions spared Europe for a long time. No one is sure why, but scientists think it is linked to the fact that Europe has witnessed less immigration than regions like America or Australia, and was therefore less exposed to the accidental introduction of invasive species. It is also possible that european ecosystems are more stable and therefore less vulnerable to invasive species.

But, with the impact of mondialization, which made migrations easier, the threat of invasive species is spreading in european countries as well. One must not underestimate this threat. One of the more visible consequences is uniformisation: it leads to the loss of unique landscapes, notably in Switzerland. Native species are gradually replaced by exotic species, which end up constituting the majority of the biomass in some systems.

The situation in Switzerland is comparable to other countries in Europe, but it also has some specificities: as an alpine, landlocked country, it has unique ecosystems that need to be protected. Scientists, together with associations like NNF, recommand the rapid implementation of strategies on a national scale. It is a matter of prevention (informing the public, closely watching risky species) and eradication.

All of the signatory countries of the Convention of Biological Diversity, including Switzerland, committed to prevent the introduction, to control or to eradicate exotique species which threaten ecosystems, habitats and native species. What are these species? What measures did Switzerland implement? What is the role of NNF?

Clic on each of these swiss invasive species to learn more about their mode of introduction, the harm they cause and the means to implement to limit their harmful effect.