Invasive Alien Species Action Plan for Dublin City

As part of National Biodiversity Week, Dublin City Council announces its new Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Action Plan (2016-2020). This is the first IAS Action Plan to be produced by a Local Authority in this country.

The main aims of the Plan are to control and reduce the spread of existing IAS, and to prevent any new IAS from establishing in the city. IAS are animals and plants that are introduced accidently or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found. Their introduction can have serious negative consequences for the new environment.

Speaking about the plan Les Moore, Parks Superintendent with Dublin City Council said “The impacts of IAS are wide ranging and destructive and it is estimated that they cost the island of Ireland in excess of €202M each year. Although the control of IAS may put additional responsibilities on project and site managers, this is necessary when the consequences of not doing so are so high for biodiversity and even human health and safety.”

The Plan highlights specific flora and fauna that are IAS and explains what the public should do if they encounter them. There are seventeen legally-designated species of IAS currently known to be present in Dublin City. Of these, six* are considered to pose the highest risk to the City. The Plan includes specific responsibilities for contractors working for Dublin City Council. These include requirements for recording of any invasive alien species found on site, for transport of soils, disposal of material and for site management. There are also requirements for planning applications, and the Council has been including specific planning conditions for IAS management plans since 2011.

Les Moore, Parks Superintendent added “Ireland has listed designated invasive plants and animals in the European Communities Regulations 2011. It is now against the law to sell, propagate or spread these species. Surprisingly, some of the designated plants are still being found for sale in Ireland, which highlights the need for greater awareness-raising.”

To view the Invasive Alien Species Action Plan go to:


For further information contact:

Notes to the Editor:

On 20th May, the Plan will be put into action by volunteers from local schools, community groups and representatives from the Ericsson organisation as part of a collaboration between Dublin City Council and Ericsson. At 12:30 pm at Beech Hill Road section of the River Dodder they will be out in force to have a ‘balsam bash’ to remove invasive Himalayan balsam along the river.

*The six species of highest risk in Dublin City at this time are:

  • Elodea nuttallii (Nuttall’s waterweed)
  • Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed)
  • Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed)
  • Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea buckthorn)
  • Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)
  • Neovison vison (American mink)