Introduction to Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) in N.E. Scotland                                                        

(Giant hogweed)                                                (Japanese knotweed)                                        (Himalayan balsalm)

An invasive non-native species is any non-native animal or plant that has the abilty to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live. Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity and their ecological impacts and economic consequences can be devastating.  This is reflected in the increasing priority given to non-native invasive species in the European, UK and Scottish legal, strategy and planning frameworks.

Invasive Non-Native Plants

Invasive Non-Native Plants including Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam can spread quickly and colonise areas exclusively, reducing local biodiversity, increasing bank erosion and limiting access to the river for recreation. Other species of concern in the River Dee Catchment include: Ranunculus (Water Crowfoot), Amercian skunk cabbage and Himalayan knotweed. A partnership approach is necessary in controlling their spread.

 

Invasive Non-Native Animals

Invasive Non-Native Animals like American mink and Grey squirrel can have a damaging impact on native wildlife through predation, habitat damage, territorial dominance and by spreading disease. Species monitoring programmes has been co-ordinated through the Scottish Mink Initiative and the Saving Scotland's Red Squirrel Group. The River Dee Trust are working hard to ensure that invasive parasites (Gyrodactylus Salaris) and disease are not introduced into the catchment.

 

Tackling the Problem

These problems cannot be tackled unless we know where the invasives are. You can help by reporting sightings to your local records centre or volunteering with your local Fisheries Trust or wildlife group. The Dee Catchment Partnership has produced a 'Controlling Invasive Non-Native Species' leaflet, to aid the volunteer effort, helping with identification and providing contact details. The Highland Environment Forum co-ordinates INNS activity throughout the Highland and NE of Scotland. 

    

This information on invasive species has been put together by a group of organisations aiming to work together within the Dee Catchment for INNS in NE Scotland. INNS are a huge issue which needs to be tackled in a co-ordinated way and it is hoped a partnership approach will assist organisations in acting together to prevent further spread, control and survey existing populations and raise awareness.  These pages explain the legal situation, explain who is involved and give links to advice on how to carry out control on your own land and funding available for this.

  • c/o James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH
  • T: 01224 395141
  • E: info@theriverdee.org