Avoid spreading invasive alien species

Here you will find information about invasive alien species, how they spread and what you can do to stop it.

Information on invasive alien species

Invasive alien species are plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms that have been intentionally or unintentionally moved to a new environment and where they spread rapidly and cause damage to biodiversity, the economy and potentially human health.  Competition between native and invasive species can be for instance plants overshadowing other plants, direct competition for water and nutrients, but also indirectly by fixating nitrogen, releasing chemical compounds in the soil, making it unsuitable for native plants.

Invasive animals may compete with native species for food, shelter and nesting grounds and they can spread pathogens. Damages to human health or the economy can be caused by alien species spreading disease or damaging infrastructure.

Alien species, animals and plants, enter the country through imports or indirectly as stowaways in goods and transport. Once they find their way to a new area, they can end up in the environment in different ways. 

Restrictions of EU listed species

Preventing the spread of invasive alien species

In Sweden you have a statutory obligation to prevent the spread of the EU-listed species. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency encourages everyone to contribute to stopping the introduction and spread of other invasive alien species as well. Here are some examples of what you can do to prevent the introduction of invasive alien species:

  • Do not bring seeds or seedlings into Sweden
  • If you are going to buy or give away, choose species/varieties that do not become invasive species.
  • People travelling to or from sensitive natural environments can protect the animal and plant life by ensuring that luggage, clothing and equipment do not carry seeds, plant debris or insects.
  • Do not dispose plant waste (or any other waste) in nature - it constitutes littering and is prohibited.
  • Keep track of which plants you buy and give away.
If you travel to artic areas

Our increasingly warmer climate means that more and more species can survive in the wild. This is especially true in our mountain environments where new species spread further north and higher up in the mountains due to a warming climate. 

Therefore, we must be especially careful so that we avoid bringing back alien species when traveling from other countries. And of course, you should refrain from intentionally bringing alien species home.

Stop artic aliens

How to report the presence of invasive species

If you find what you suspect is an invasive alien species, it is very helpful if you report it.

Report EU-listed invasive species 

Report other invasive species

The role of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Guidance, national coordination and responsible authority

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) are the nationally responsible authorities for invasive alien species and offer guidance in the application of laws and regulations. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is the responsible authority for the administrative and coordinative work on Invasiva Alien Species (IAS) in terrestrial environments.

The Swedish legislation supplementing the EU regulation means, among other things, that responsible authorities can gain access to private land to carry out control measures, and that actions prohibited under EU law is punishable.

The County Administrative Board is the authority responsible for managing invasive alien species, and is tasked with supervising the compliance with rules and regulations within the county. The County Administrative Board can defer this responsibility to a municipality upon request.

Management measures for widely distributed EU-listed species

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and SwAM are responsible for developing management measures that will apply to the EU-listed species that are judged to be widespread.

Examination of permit applications

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is the competent authority for examining permit applications regarding invasive alien species on land.  .Generally, permits can only be granted for activities to conduct research on invasive alien species or for ex-situ conservation of such species.

See also: Permit for research or ex-situ conservation

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