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Acacia mearnsii/Australian acacia
Euphorbia esula/leafy spurge [Norman E. Rees, USDA ARS]
Mikania micrantha/mile-a-minute weed [Colin Wilson]
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Our work
Technical & Policy advice


IUCN Guidelines for the Prevention of Biodiversity Loss caused by Alien Invasive Species


Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations
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Global Invasive Species Database (GISD)- Under Restructure


Island Biodiversity & Invasive Species Database (IBIS)- Beta


Database of Island Invasive Species Eradications (IISE)- Beta
> Aliens- The Invasive Species Bulletin (Bi-annual Newsletter)


100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species


Turning the Tide: The Eradication of Invasive Species


Island Invasives: Eradication And Management

IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group

Mission Statement

The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species, and of ways to prevent, control or eradicate them.


The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) is a global network of scientific and policy experts on invasive species, organized under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The ISSG was established in 1994. It currently has 196 core members from over 40 countries and a wide informal global network of over 2000 conservation practitioners and experts who contribute to its work.

The Chair of the ISSG is Dr. Piero Genovesi, of the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, in Italy.

What does ISSG do?

The ISSG promotes and facilitates the exchange of invasive species information and knowledge across the globe and ensures the linkage between knowledge, practice and policy so that decision making is informed.

The two core activity areas of the ISSG are policy and technical advice, and, information exchange through our online resources and tools and through networking.

Providing technical and policy advice

The overall aim is to encourage and mainstream invasive species issues so these issues are addressed in an ecosystem context. Activities include providing technical and scientific advice to IUCN Members in their work on invasive species especially in international fora (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Ramsar Convention, International Maritime Organization (IMO)), and work in the regions. The ISSG membership also provides technical and scientific advice to national and regional agencies in developing policy and strategies to manage the risk of biological invasions.

Information exchange

The ISSG is involved in several mechanisms which facilitate invasive species data and information exchange.

The ISSG publishes a biannual newsletter ‘Aliens’. ‘Aliens’ features articles on issues related to invasive species.

The ISSG manages the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) an online, freely available premier resource of information on invasive species, their ecology, spread, management and impacts. The GISD aims to increase public awareness about invasive species and to facilitate effective prevention and management activities by disseminating specialist’s knowledge and experience globally to a broad audience.

The ISSG has also undertaken to develop thematic datasets which can be used as analytical tools by stakeholders. Island Biodiversity and Invasive Species Database - IBIS is focused on the impacts of invasive species on native species and ecosystems on islands.

Suggestions, requests and contributions of information and datasets are welcome from researchers and practitioners. All information collated will be made freely available on the ISSG website.


The ISSG manages Aliens-L, a list server dedicated to invasive species that threaten biodiversity. It allows users to freely seek and share information on invasive species and related issues.

Participation from all who are interested in the invasive species problem is welcome.  Please follow this link to Aliens-L to subscribe and manage your subscriptions.

The ISSG operates a dynamic resource and information service known as Aliens-Referral that has grown over the years, continuing to meet the needs of stakeholders.

Aliens-Referral provides invasive species and related information to stakeholders on request and facilitates linkages between global experts and practitioners.

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woolly nightshade

Commonly known as woolly nightshade or tree tobacco, Solanum mauritianum is a widespread invasive weed belonging to the nightshade family. It has the ability to crowd out native plants if growing densely, but, if occurring sparsely, it may act as a nursery crop. All parts of Solanum mauritianum plant are poisonous to humans, especially the berries. This plant is dispersed by birds, with the fruit being especially favoured by some species. Chemical control using herbicides and manual control involving removing seedlings by hand and ring barking of trees are methods employed in its management. Biological control of this species has been undertaken in South Africa.

Please read the woolly nightshade (Solanum mauritianum) species profile on the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) for more information on the ecology of the species, its introduced range, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and ways to prevent and manage its spread.