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Invasive Non-Native Species

Non-native species are those that have been spread beyond their natural range by human activity. Many non-natives can co-exist with our wildlife, but in some cases, when their populations increase rapidly, they become invasive.

Invasive non-native species (INNS) are a threat to native wildlife and ecosystems since they:

  • Displace or prey on native species
  • Destroy habitat
  • Introduce new diseases or parasites

In addition, INNS can have a serious impact on the economy by destroying crops, limiting recreational activities, and damaging important infrastructure. For example, the burrows made by invasive signal crayfish and Chinese mitten crabs can undermine riverbanks and flood defences.

American signal crayfish

Himalayan balsam flowers and seeds

Our rivers, lakes and wetlands are particularly vulnerable to INNS such as floating pennywort and killer shrimp. Many of these species spread very quickly and, once established, can be extremely costly and difficult to control.

To stop the spread of INNS, it is vital that we all take responsibility. Please conduct three simple steps when any clothing or equipment has been in contact with the aquatic environment:

Check, Clean & Dry

Visit Plant Tracker to record any invasive plant sightings to help track them down.

Find out more about our Himalayan Balsam on the River Wensum project, funded by Anglian Water and delivered in partnership with the Norfolk Non-Native Species Initiative (NNNSI).

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