Accelerated avian invasion into the Mediterranean region endangers biodiversity and mandates international collaboration

Tali Magory Cohen, Mark E. Hauber, Triantaphyllos Akriotis, Pierre André Crochet, Georgios Karris, Alexander N.G. Kirschel, Fares Khoury, Mattia Menchetti, Emiliano Mori, Esra Per, Luís Reino, Susana Saavedra, Joana Santana, Roi Dor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite posing a serious threat to global biodiversity, national and international management efforts have not been able to limit the spread of most invasive species. In highly dispersive species, local invasions may be followed by regional range expansion that crosses international borders. In such cases, independent management efforts of the invading population may be futile unless international collaboration is practiced. We focus on the ongoing human-mediated invasion of the common myna Acridotheres tristis into the Mediterranean basin, a region rich in overall numbers of species and endemic species, where common mynas have been introduced into a handful of countries. Some introductions were followed by subsequent range expansions into neighbouring countries. This species poses major threats to the biodiversity of the Mediterranean which is already susceptible to biodiversity loss as the result of ongoing land use and climate changes. Without action, this species and possibly others similar to it, could have severe consequences for native ecosystems. Policy implications. Given the regional scope of its invasion in the Mediterranean basin, common myna management requires an international collaboration to successfully prevent additional introductions and range expansions and to avoid accelerating threats to Mediterranean biodiversity, already at risk as a result of ongoing changes in land use and climate. We argue that international reciprocal transfer of information and the development of regional mitigation are essential for the successful management of the invasion of the common myna and other species into the Mediterranean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1440-1455
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Mediterranean
  • anthropogenic impact
  • avian ecology
  • biodiversity
  • common myna
  • ecopolitics
  • international collaboration
  • invasive species

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