The country now has three new invasive species, five in danger of extinction and another four that change their protection.
An algae of Asian origin, the oriental termite and the black locust are the three new additions to the Spanish Catalog of Invasive Alien Species of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). The three species have “a very slight risk of invasion” and therefore their possession, transport and trade are prohibited, according to a statement provided by this ministry.the asian seaweed Rugulopteryx okamurae, whose presence was already identified in 2015 in the coast of Ceuta, has expanded in recent years by the coast of Malaga, Cádiz and the Chafarinas Islands and has now reached the beaches of Granada and Almería, with “important” economic and ecological impacts.The spread of this algae in the area of the Strait is affecting “very negatively” not only to ecosystems, but also to fishing and tourism in the region.According to the eastern subterranean termite The Reticulitermes flavipes is causing “serious damage” to homes in Tenerife with “serious” economic costs, according to MITECO. Although its known distribution range is still limited in the Canary Islands, its destructive potential is “worrying”, since in addition to buildings it has also already caused “notable damage” to the trees and could be affecting native species such as the dragon tree.Refering to black locust The Acacia melanoxylon it is harming the riparian forests of the peninsular northwest, where it competes with the native vegetation and affects natural habitats. A relevant example is its presence in the Maritime-Terrestrial National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, on the islands of Ons and Cíes, where it forms dense forests with the risk of colonizing and displacing “very relevant” native habitat types.
This is the second time that the Spanish Catalog of Invasive Alien Species has been modified since its publication in 2013. In the previous revision, in March 2019, three species of reptiles were added (savannah monitor, royal python and tortoise from the peninsula, originally from Florida), a mammal (Vietnamese pig) and two plants, in this case only for the Canary Islands (Moorish tobacco and pampas grass, the latter already included for the Peninsula).
Invasive alien species represent one of the mainthreats to biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, especially in geographically and evolutionarily isolated ecosystems, such as small islands. The risks that these species represent may be intensified due to the increase in global trade, transportation, tourism and climate change.
MITECO has also announced its intention to modify the Spanish Catalog of Endangered Species to include in the category “in danger of extinction” three very rare species of aquatic flora (Avellara fistulosa,Hydrocharis bite-frog Y Sparganium natans), as well as the population of gray partridge (partridge partridge) in the Iberian System and the porpoise, the latter subject to a high accidental mortality due to fishing.Finally, it incorporates to the List of Wild Species under Special Protection Regime the Teide violet (Viola smellanthifolia), the ethereal rabijunco (Phaethon of the Ethereal), and the European beaver (Castor fiber), while it is included in the category of “Vulnerable” to sea snail Tritia tingitana, a species present on rocky bottoms of the Strait of Gibraltar whose distribution area has decreased by more than 25% in the last 30 years.
The Official State Gazette has published this Tuesday the ministerial order of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge by which these three new invasive species, five in danger of extinction and another four that change their protection.
The ministerial order, which will enter effective this Wednesday, amends the Spanish Catalog of Invasive Alien Species, the Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species and the List of Wild Species under Special Protection Regime.