By Bren Ram, Communications Manager, Island Conservation

Taking place from February 26 to March 3, Invasive Species Awareness Week is an occasion to raise awareness of the impact of invasive alien species on biodiversity and the importance of addressing this issue. Defined as species whose introduction and/or spread outside their natural past or present distribution threatens biological diversity, invasive alien species (IAS) are a threat to nature, economies, food security, and human health worldwide.

Island ecosystems, which harbor over 20% of our planet’s biodiversity, are particularly vulnerable. 90% of global extinctions on islands have been attributed mainly to IAS, according to the latest findings from IPBES’ Thematic Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control. But the same conditions that make them vulnerable—the uniqueness of their ecosystems and their relative isolation—also produce the conditions for dramatic recovery.