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Invasive species directory released

By LI HONGYANG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-22 08:56
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Ministry's list aimed at maintaining healthy ecological environment

China released a directory of invasive species on Tuesday in order for departments to prioritize their control.

The directory, which included 59 species, most of which are plants and insects, will come into effect on Jan 1.

It was proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs with other ministries and administrations to control the number of invasive species in order to maintain a safe and healthy ecological environment.

Mao Runping, an expert at the Wuhan Institute of Landscape Architecture in Hubei province, said: "Invasive species usually enter one country from another through introduction for the purpose of animal feeding or as ornamental pets or plants, or are introduced by accident during trade, tourism or war.

"In a foreign country, the species can reproduce quickly because no natural enemy species can restrict it like it does in their original environment," she said.

The directory mentions Canadian goldenrod, fall armyworm, alligator gar and apple snail.

Media reports have shown that they had been introduced by accident or on purpose as an ornamental plant, pet or food, but later it was realized that they could reproduce in huge numbers and pose a threat to human health and crops.

China has seen increasing numbers of invasive species and damage caused by them.

According to the 2020 Communique on the Status of China's Ecology and Environment released last year, more than 660 invasive species have been found across the country, of which 71 pose or are potentially a threat to natural ecosystems.

Increased human activities have cut the time it takes for invasive species to migrate to just a few years, enhancing the chance they will damage the ecosystem. Curbing that trend is urgent, Mao said.

Last year, the Biosecurity Law came into force, defining invasive species in order to protect biodiversity, and urging strengthened monitoring and treatment of the species.

In May, the central government released the Measures for the Management of Invasive Species, calling for preventing such species from the root.

"Species assessed to pose a risk of invasion shall not be allowed to enter the country.

"Treatment measures for them include physical control, artificial removal, biological control, chemical control and other preventive methods," it said.

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