About Island Invasives 2017
This will be the third in a series of international conferences focussed on invasive alien species (IAS) on islands, their impact and management. It follows those held in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2001 and 2010. The Dundee conference will therefore be the first such meeting for seven years, and the first to be held in the northern hemisphere. In the context of this meeting, the definition of ‘island’ is broader than just a piece of land surrounded by water. Much the same problems and solutions apply to land surrounded by predator-proof fences, and to unfenced but isolated patches of habitat such as coral reefs.
Awareness of the damaging impact of invasive species is growing rapidly, just as the problem itself is growing. Island flora and fauna tend to be particularly vulnerable to IAS, and many insular endemics have been driven to extinction by these invaders. But, by their very nature, islands may also offer the possibility of long-term refuge and security if alien species can be eradicated or effectively controlled.
Over recent decades, the management and even eradication of island invasives has developed from a concept born of desperation to small scale experimentation, to medium scale trials, to large scale operations where success is almost expected. The scale of response is increasing to meet the escalating challenge. Progress is made largely by learning from the lessons and experience of earlier operations, good and bad. For this, there is no substitute for face-to-face discussion, the discovery of new approaches from posters and spoken presentations, and access to the best people in the business, all gathered in one place.
This conference, hosted by the University of Dundee and the South Georgia Heritage Trust, will be a long-overdue gathering of the island invasives clan. It will build on the great success of the Auckland meetings, allow greater participation of people from Europe and North America, and bring together experts and those thirsty for knowledge in diverse fields covering the invaders and invaded. Since the last meeting in 2010, much has been learned about the damage caused by, and how to control or eradicate, an increasingly diverse range of invasive species. This will be an opportunity to share that knowledge, and to be inspired by what has been achieved by passionate and dedicated conservationists around the world.
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