What management methods work best for what species?

Explore our best management practice guides!

Getting rid of invasive alien species, yes but HOW?

Invasive alien species are characterised by their high reproductive, competitive and dispersal capacities, which also notably allow for rapid range expansion. Needless to say that, as the species continue to spread, the fight against them becomes increasingly challenging. While the phenomenon of biological invasions has been known for decades, there is still a lack of understanding of the problem among many field managers. Awareness raising and training on good practices to effectively deal with the problem is therefore necessary.

With the help of the other LIFE RIPARIAS partners, ULIEGE and SPW have elaborated 2 best management practice guides providing valuable guidance to field managers in effectively managing problematic invasive alien aquatic and riparian plants, as well as crayfish species. The elaboration of these 2 guides involved extensive work that spanned no less than a year, and represents therefore an important achievement for the project. The guides will serve as important support tools during the information and training sessions that will take place each year from 2023 until 2026.

Identifying the best management practices: a good start

The international scientific literature provides numerous studies that have demonstrated successful local eradication or control of invasive aquatic and riparian plant species or crayfish species. The catch is that most of these studies involve the use of chemical treatment and herbicides such as glyphosate for plants or biocides, when it comes to crayfish. Not only is the use of such pesticides highly detrimental to the environment, it is also controversial and subject to strict regulations in our country. Therefore, those methods were ruled out.

We defined “best management practices” as practices that have shown an acceptable level of effectiveness while being realistic as well as ethically and legally acceptable. This doesn't necessarily mean that they have no negative impact on the environment, but the benefits of implementing them outweigh the drawbacks. Those practices were also experimented by field researchers and experts involved in IAS management worldwide.

While these guides were mainly developed as a tool for practitioners involved in invasive plant and crayfish species management, everyone can find essential and accessible information to help with and understand better this global issue. Indeed, we can all act, at our own level, against the expansion of invasive alien plants and crayfish.

Printed versions of the guides will be distributed to participants during the upcoming training and information sessions, while their digital counterparts can be accessed on our website. All 3 guides are available in 3 languages; English, French and Dutch.


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