Invasive non-native species are one of the top five drivers of global biodiversity loss and cost the Irish economy €2.6 million a year and can even harm our health. Help us to protect our environment and wildlife by taking part in Invasive Species Week!

If you or your organisation would like to join us in 2024, please let us know your plans ([email protected]) so we can add them to our Calendar of Events. A list of Daily Themes that will be followed across all 8 of the BIC administrations will be available soon.

What’s happening throughout the week?

Daily themes

  • Monday – what are invasive non-native species (INNS)? It’s important to be clear about the difference between non-native and invasive non-native species.
  • Tuesday – How are they spread? Are there activities that you or your audience are involved in that are a particular risk?
  • Wednesday – Why are they a problem? How do they affect your local environment, sport, industry etc?
  • Thursday – What is being done to prevent this? This is an opportunity to share what your organisation is already doing or what you plan to do in future.
  • Friday – What can I do? What could your audience, staff, or members do to help? See our ‘5 simple things’ for guidance.
  • Saturday and Sunday – Activities to get involved in. Could you host an event? See below for some ideas.

Calendar of events

DateTimeEvent NameLink or locationOrganiserMore information
Monday May 20th13:00 - 13:45Introduction to Invasive Species Weekhttps://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/738a2ae2-b014-45c1-8805-7c4a1a34b97e@770a2450-0227-4c62-90c7-4e38537f1102GB NNSSWith Professor Helen Roy (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) and Lucy Cornwell (GB NNSS).
Tuesday May 21st12:00 - 12:45Webinar: using eDNA to detect invasive non-native specieshttps://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/9bb2f254-5f97-4a67-b51d-4b635e4c5c10@770a2450-0227-4c62-90c7-4e38537f1102Hosted by the GB Non-native Species SecretariatJoin this webinar with Dr Lori Lawson-Handley, University of Hull, to learn more about using eDNA to detect aquatic invasive non-native species.
Tuesday May 21st19:30 - 20:30Webinar - Invasive Species in the Communityhttps://shorturl.at/eqFS4National Network of Local Authority Biodiversity OfficersFor anyone with an interest in invasive species particularly Tidy Towns and Community Groups. https://invasives.ie/invasive-species-in-the-community
Wednesday May 22nd13:00 - 14:00Invasive species in your gardens and communities and how to prevent them with horticulturist Linda Gilsenanhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/84340795403Galway City CouncilZoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 843 4079 5403
Thursday May 23rd
Friday May 24th
Saturday May 25th10:30 - 13:00Invasive Species in Merlin WoodsMeet at Merlin Woods - Community GardenGalway City CouncilWith the Friends of Merlin Woods, learn how to identify, report & monitor invasive species with invasive species experts Linda Gilsenan and Deirdre Morrissey

Social media details

We will also be posting about events on our @BioDataCentre social media channels.

Hashtags: #INNSweek or #getINNSvolved  #InvasivesIE

X: @BioDataCentre and @InvaisveSp

Event ideas

  • Give a talk about invasive species and how to prevent their spread. If you’d rather watch a talk stay tuned for details of our webinar series.
  • Create an awareness raising display in your office, classroom, clubhouse etc. Download a poster (PDF) and free awareness raising materials below.
  • Hold a baking competition – download some ID materials on priority species and ask your colleagues to have a go at recreating them in cake form!
  • Share Be Plant Wise materials with your family and friends, or even a local garden centre to encourage gardeners to dispose of plants responsibly and avoid them spreading into the wild.
  • Arrange a Check Clean Dry demonstration at your angling / paddling / sailing club to show how easy it is to keep your kit free of invasive species.
  • If you are a pet owner, thinking of becoming one or are a pet trader – become familiar with the guidance of the Be Pet Wise campaign.
  • Put together a trail or hold tours for visitors highlighting all the invasive non-native species in your collection, any native species that are impacted by them, and any stories about how they were introduced and the impacts they could have on the environment.
  • Run a competition or quiz to design an invasive species.
  • Arrange a lunchtime walk with others to look out for common invasive species near you.
  • Contact local media to raise awareness of invasive non-native species and your work.
  • Enlist any celebrities you know to support Invasive Species Week!

Online activities

If you aren’t able to do any of the activities above you can still play an important role by raising awareness online! Remember to use #INNSweek in your social media posts. Let your colleagues, visitors, volunteers, classmates know that Invasive Species Week is happening and encourage them to take part:
  • Include articles in your newsletter, website, blog, membership magazine, mailing list. We’ll be adding some key facts here to help you soon. Think about which species are most relevant to you and the audience you’re trying to reach, local or business issues are more likely to get their attention.
  • Share information on social media. During Invasive Species Week follow @BioDataCentre and @InvasiveSp (external link) on Twitter, retweet posts and create additional posts of your own if you can. Remember to use #ReportInvasives and #INNSweek in any posts on social media. Each day we’ll be focusing on a key theme, find details above.
  • If you work or volunteer outdoors, use our resources on biosecurity, identification and recording for your team.
  • Arrange a webinar with a talk about invasive species and how to prevent their spread. If you’d rather watch a talk stay tuned for details of our webinar series.
  • Livestream from the field or film a survey to show which non-native species are likely to be seen on a walk.
  • Put together a virtual tour for visitors highlighting all the invasive non-native species in your collection, any native species that are impacted by them, and any stories about how they were introduced and the impacts they could have on the environment.
  • Run a competition or quiz to design an invasive species.
  • Enlist any celebrities you know to support Invasive Species Week!