Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS)
Britain, like the rest of the world, is being invaded by non-native species, many of which have little effect on their new habitats, but a few have a catastrophic impact where they take over. These are the invasive non-native species (INNS), such as rabbit and cane toad in Australia, fire ants and kudzu vine in North America, British gorse in New Zealand and many in our own country, some of which are serious pests in the Scottish Highlands.
Concern about invasive species in the Highlands led to the formation of the Highland Invasive Species Forum on which SLEF maintains a significant presence as the result of our knowledge and practical work in Skye & Lochalsh.
SLEF is deeply concerned to ensure the control (eradication?) of invasive native and non-native species in our area and will report on progress here. We need more information about the distribution of existing problem species and the appearance of new ones. If you find any of the following in this region please inform SLEF via the species recording form.
IDENTIFICATION SHEETS for all INNS can be downloaded (PDF). CLICK HERE to choose.
THESE ARE PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME IN SKYE & LOCHALSH
Japanese Knotweed - Fallopia japonica
Rhododendron - Rhododendron x superponticum (used to be R. ponticum)
Gorse - Ulex europaeus (native, and is it the problem we think it is?)
Hymalayan balsam - Impatiens glandulifera
Montbretia - Crocosmia x crocosmiifolia
Sitka spruce - Picea sitchensis (escapes from forestry)
Lodgepole pine - Pinus contorta (escapes from forestry)
Cotoneaster microphyllus agg.
Pampas grass - Cortaderia selloana
"Giant rhubarb" - Gunnera manicata
Japanese wireweed - Sargassum muticum (marine)
Skunk cabbage - Lysichiton americanum
Giant Hogweed - Heracleum mantegazzianum
American Mink - Neovison vison
Grey Squirrel - Sciurus carolinensis (first and only sighting - so far - Breakish, Skye 2011)