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Invasive Alien Species – Nature Intruders

Tiger mosquito becomes an increasing health problem in the Rijeka area”, “Tiger mosquitos “concur” the city”, “Ambrosia, the weed that leads to asthma”, “Never more aggressive Ambrosia attacks”, “Mirna Valley under siege by the nutria” – these are just some of the disturbing and sensationalistic headlines on animal and plant species from the Croatian media, published in the last few years. All of these species are foreign and invasive in Croatia – they are the invaders found outside their natural distribution area and they came to be there exclusively with the deliberate or accidental help of humans.

Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor coypus), photo: Igor Boršić

It has been appraised that the damage that invasive species cause within the 27 EU countries in a year amounts to 9,6 and 12 billion Euros.

The control of invasive species and the reduction of their influence on native species and complete ecosystems represent one of the greatest challenges in Europe’s nature conservation today. The European Commission is constantly working on new laws in order to create the basis for prevention and the struggle against invasive alien species. Croatia has legally banned the introduction of invasive alien species in open ecosystems.