The success in the fight against invasive plant species depends on every one of us taking evasive action to prevent, and resolve, this problem!
There are several ways to intervene:
1. Learn how to identify the invasive plant species and NEVER USE THEM
– Online information is available that explains how to correctly identify invasive species that are problematic in Portugal (e.g., our website has invasive species fact sheets);
– If you already know what the invasive species are, educate others!
– After learning to identify them, don’t choose them for your flower or vegetable garden project (or for green public spaces or a forest plantation);
– Be particularly conscious to avoid using invasive plants that may be attractive because of their beauty (such as acacia, pampas grass, blue morning glory, barbary fig) or any other of the invasive species listed in the national legislation.
2. Create your own native garden
– Find out more about the species that are native to your region and plant them in your garden.
3. Be proactive…
… and remove any invasive species in your garden or on your land. Be careful not to leave the resulting greenwaste and debris in situ where it could re-establish itself.
– If you own large areas of land occupied by invasive species, prioritise the work to be done and carefully plan what you can and should do to manage the problem.
4. Never release exotic animals in the wild
– Your good intentions may have terrible consequences! Some species of birds, fish, reptiles and amphibions intentionally release into the wild (“given their freedom”) will become invasive when released into a non-native environment;
– If you are considering having an exotic animal as a pet, don’t! The sale of exotic animal species as pets is very often harmful to the animal as well as threatening to native animals.
5. Tread lightly…
– Whether you are trekking, hiking or just passing through, be sure to clean your shoes, clothes and bags – Seeds, spores, fruits, insects and other living creatures including invasive species, can be easily transported inadvertently;
– When visiting a Protected Area, be especially aware of the species/parts of species that you may be transporting; also clean your vehicle’s tyres thoroughly before you travel;
– If you go to another country, do not be tempted to take an exotic plant or animal with you.
6. Do not send or order exotic plants and animals…
… to or from places where they aren’t native.
– Other elements may accompany the plant itself, such as insects, parasites, eggs or seeds from other species.
7. Participate in (or organise) events to control invasive species populations
– There are voluntary activities for controlling invasive species throughout Portugal. Participate!
– For example, we promote Scientific Workshops.
8. If you find invasive species in a critical situation such as a highly problematic invasive species for sale…
– Make contact with the seller and alert them to the importance of removing the plant.
– If you are not successful, call the SOS Line Ambiente e Território: 808 200 520 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)