Hottentot fig is an increasingly-common sight on British coastlines, and a rather attractive one. The problem is that it outcompetes native coastal vegetation, displacing rare species like the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), and could even be adding to coastal erosion in some places.
The following is an open letter from CGO Ecology's Chris Gleed-Owen to Bournemouth Borough Council:
CGO Ecology has teamed up with Bournemouth University to carry out a research project into the occurrence and possible impacts of a tiny invertebrate animal from the southern hemisphere. The Australian landhopper (Arcitalitrus dorrieni) is an amphipod crustacean, in the same family (Talitridae) as our freshwater shrimps. They live in leaf litter, usually beneath trees.
Several news sources are reporting that North American signal crayfish have been detected in the Eden River catchment in Cumbria, considered a UK stronghold of the native white-clawed crayfish. This is very bad news indeed.
Ok so it's a rhetorical question, but it raises an important point: there are undoubtedly some alien invasives here that we don't know about yet. Non-native invasive species are here, and here to stay; so we need to be pragmatic about how to deal with them.
This is the Australian landhopper or woodhopper Arcitalitrus dorrieni (an amphipod crustacean). It is not native to the UK, but has become increasingly established over the last century or so. It lives in deciduous or mixed leaf litter, and can be confused with native springtails. There are no native terrestrial amphipods in Britain; only aquatic species such as Gammarus pulex.
As we enter late summer, the 'Asian hornet' Vespa velutina reaches its most active time of year, and this is likely to be the year they reach Britain. As part of the 'GB rapid response protocol', Defra's Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) has issued a species alert for V. velutina, including posters and fact sheets. Already widespread in western France, it is anticipated soon in southern England.
Britain's freshwater environments are host to many invasive alien species, from amphibians to plants, crayfish to fungus. Today saw the deadline of a Europe-wide consultation on how we should deal with them.
Defra's Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) has announced very worrying news for Britain's trees. An outbreak of the Asian longhorn beetle (ALB), an exotic beetle pest which could have severe consequences for British trees, has been found in Kent the Food and Environment Research Agency confirmed today. This is the first time an outbreak of this pest has been found in the UK and it is being treated extremely seriously.
An invasive species of crustacean known as the killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus) is feared to be establishing itself in the UK. First identified at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire in September 2010, it has since been identified at two locations in Wales, and may be present elsewhere.