Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are plants and animals that live outside their native ranges, thriving in their new surroundings largely thanks to a lack of natural predators. INNS can outcompete and displace local native species (resulting in reduced biodiversity), spread disease, alter the local ecology of a habitat and some can even be hazardous to human health (e.g. giant hogweed). In addition, non-native plant species that grow along watercourses (such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam) can increase flood risk by causing increased erosion along a river bank. The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat estimate that INNS cost the UK economy around £1.7billion per year.
The Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum (YISF) is a partnership between a number of organisations that aims to provide a strategic approach to the identification and treatment of INNS. The forum concentrates on those species found in or along watercourses, as this is a common way for INNS to spread. INNS mapper is an important tool in YISF's fight against these harmful species, as it provides a way to map these species, plan surveying and treatment programmes, and identify opportunities to create links and work with others working in the region. INNS mapper, and YISF, relies on volunteers and organisations working to eradicate INNS in the Yorkshire area to upload data. To explore the dataset further or see how you can contribute to the forum, please click the log-in button.