Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Invasive species (IAS), Impatiens glandulifera Royal

1. Introduction

1.1 Invasive Alien Species

The issue of invasive species has recently been called ‘one of the hottest current topics in ecology’ (Sol. 2001). Non-native species that become invasive are considered the second greatest threat to wildlife worldwide (Defra1. 2008). Certain species move naturally by migratory processes and would find a niche in various new ecosystems. Movement like this can be seen to be quite positive as; 'Productive' ecosystems are defined as those that support a large total amount of living matter, from tiny microbes up to plants and animals (Imperial College. 2008).
Large amounts of biological life however, have been transported around the globe and introduced to various areas by the expanded trade, industrial/horticultural/agricultural development and traffic volume over the last few decades (IMO 2008), as Human aided movement of animal and plant species has been an intrinsic part of our history and social development (di Castri. 1989).
Many introductions were not intended or controlled. These organisms spread through accidental introduction or escape/loss and form a kind of biological pollution. Ballast water in shipping for example, has been one of the major contributors to this biological movement (Barton et al. 2005). Marine Invasive organisms such as Eriocheir sinensis (Chinese mitten crab), probably made its way into the UK by ballast water in shipping to the River Thames in the 1930’s (JNCC1. 2008). Now, the population has spread predominantly in the southern British Coast (Herborg et al. 2008). E. sinensis has proved a competitive threat to native species such as Austropotamobius pallipes (White-clawed crayfish), plus a contribution to geomorphic changes by its burrowing into river banks, and damage to both recreational and

Figure 1.
Eriocheir sinensis.
Photo: Natural History Museum,

commercial fishing interests by its interference with nets and lines (UKBAP. 2008).
The population of this Varunidae has increased dramatically in the UK over the last 10 years (MarLIN. 2008).

Other species were intentionally translocated in anthroprological activities. These introduced organisms followed a function or a role in society. Plant species for example were cultivated, spread and manipulated 8000-9000 years ago in the Near East (Yahyaoui. 2002) and crop species such as Solanum tuberosum (Potato), have become world recognised and used after their origin in South America.
In the early 1800’s, botanists such as David Douglas (1799-1834) and Sir Joseph D Hooker (1817-1911) explored the world looking for new species to introduce into the market for ornamental plants. These men, and other like them since, have been responsible for introducing thousands of exotic plants into Europe and Great Britain (Hayden & White. 2001). The cosmetically pleasing look, cultural vogue and societies taste for the new world and all its wonders, meant that exotic plants were and are a popular introduction to gardens. In the 18th 19th and 20th Century’s there has been the translocation of plants to Britain such as Iris sibirica (Siberian Ibis) from Central and Eastern Europe and West Asia, Carpobrotus edulis (Hottentot fig) from South Africa, Ludwigia grandiflora (Uruguayan Water Primrose) from Central and South America and Rhododendron ponticum (Rhododendron) from Spain, Portugal and Turkey (State. 2008).

Another intentionally introduced and considered invasive species is Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed). This plant is placed in the World Conservation Unions (IUCN) 100 of the Worlds Worst Invasive Alien Species (2000), and can be found throughout the UK (EA1. 2008). This Polygonaceae plant is extremely proficient in spreading, and the UK population is reduced and biologically controlled by the fact that only female F. japonica can be found in the British Isles (Hackney et al. 2008). The Male F. japonica plant can be found in Europe (e.g. in Germany), but is very rare (Alberternst et al. 2006). Its introduction into Britain posses a considerable threat to UK biodiversity as currently the plant spreads only by rhizome dispersal rather than sexual reproduction.

Invasive species (non-native, harmful organisms) undermine human health and safety, food and water security, and economic development (p. 6, Reaser et al. 2007).

Figure 2.
Fallopia japonica outgrows native flora
Photo: Wessex Salmon and rivers Trust

At the latest count there were 2,721 non-native species in England of which 1,798 (66 per cent) were plants (Eccleston. 2007) and in The Duchy of Cornwall; Approximately 40% of the species that have been known to occur in Cornwall, have arrived within the last two centres (p 16. French et al. 1999).

1.2. Current Legislation & Initiatives

1.2.1. International

The first international agreement for the protection of plant life was the Phylloxera vastatrix Convention 1881, as a measure to protect wine interests in Europe from an American insect alien species. By 1951, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) was developed as an international treaty on phytosanitary. The convention was deposited by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and administered by FAO, but implemented through the cooperation of member governments and Regional Plant Protection Organizations. It came into force by 1952. The purpose of the Convention is to secure common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control (p3. IPPC. 2006).

The first treaty to provide a legal framework for biodiversity conservation was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Created in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in June 1992, it entered into force in 1993. Within it, Paragraph h of Article 8 (In-situ conservation) of the Convention notes that:
“Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and
as appropriate, ….prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien
species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species;…”.

Thought this convention, the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) was developed. Founded in 1997, the GISP was a partnership program between three international organizations: The World Conservation Union (IUCN), CAB International (CABI), and the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). In 2003 at the botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, the GISP Secretariat was established to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (GSIAS). Directed toward the decision-makers whose policies and practices are affecting the movement of species around the world, this Strategy strives to provide a resource to increase awareness and provide policy advice (p. 7. McNeely et al. 2001).

In 2005, the Secretariats of the IPPC and the CBD signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to promote cooperation and avoid unnecessary duplication.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has implemented the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments” that was adopted on 13 February 2004. Here, The Convention is divided into Articles; and an Annex which includes technical standards and requirements in the Regulations for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments (IMO. 2008). Aiming to prevent, minimise and ultimately eliminate aquatic species and pathogens that would be considered harmful, the Convention has been ratified by 35% of the merchant shipping community (IMO. 2008)

1.2.2. European & UK

Bio-security within the European Constitution originated in the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats of 1979, or the Bern Convention (JNCC2. 2008). This convention came into force in 1982, and set out the perimeters for the conservation of certain species and the increased cooperation between contracting parties.
Implementing the agreed terms within Bern, the European Council (EC) adopted the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (the EC Habitats Directive) in 1992. As well as introducing for the first time the precautionary principle to ecosystem legislation and management, the Directive aims to install strategic management systems to promote and conserve natural habitats and their entwined species (JNCC3. 2008).
In March 2002, the (European) Council (meeting as the Environment Council) recognised that IAS (Invasive Alien Species) are one of the main recorded causes of biodiversity loss and is a cause of serious damage to economy and health (p.1. Miller. 2006).
The European Unions (EU) Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE), launched in 1992, and co-financed some 2,750 projects and contributed €1.35billion (£1.09billion) to projects for the environment.
Out of a total of 715 LIFE Nature projects financed from 1992 to 2002, 14% included actions addressed at alien species (p3. Scalera & Zaghi et al. 2004).

Figure 3.
Sciurus vulgaris (Red squirrel) once common in Britain, is now one of the UKs rarest animals because of an introduced alien species.
Photo: D. Hickson

1.2.3. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

In the United Kingdom (UK), the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981) provides the primary controls on the release of non-native species into the UK natural environment (EA2. 2003). The WCA 1981, made amends to previous UK legislation to implement EU Directives on IAS such as the Bern Convention.
Within it, section 14(2) of the Act states, that it is an offence to “plant or other wise cause to grow in the wild” any plant listed under Schedule 9, part II. These plants are;
Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant hogweed)
Sargassum muticum (Japanese seaweed, Wireweed)
Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant kelp)
Falopia japonica (Jananese knotweed)
Offences under section 14 can carry a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine (£40,000 in Scotland) and/or 6 months imprisonment on summary conviction (i.e. at Magistrates’ Court) plus an unlimited fine (i.e. whatever the court feels to be commensurate with the offence) and/or 2years imprisonment on indictment (i.e. at Crown Court) (Central Science Laboratory. 2008). However, it is not an offence to have these plants growing on land you own or have interest in (Acornecology. 2008). In Scotland the schedule was updated on 30 June 2005, and now includes nine invasive aquatic plants and four more terrestrial plants.
These are;
Lagarosiphon major (Curly waterweed)
Azolla filliculoides (Fern)
Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrots feather)
Robinia pseudoacacia (False-acacia)
Cabomba caroliniana (Fanwort)
Carpobrotus edulis (Hottentot fig)
Allium paradoxum (Few-flowered leek)
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating pennywort)
Crassula helmsii (New Zealand pigmy-weed)
Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)
Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)
Salvinia molesta (Giant Salvinia)
Gaultheria shallon (Shallon)
The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Welsh Assembly (WA), began a consultation to review and up-grade the WCA 1981, to ban the sale of certain non-native species within England and Wales (consultation ending on 31 January 2008) (Defra2. 2008). Scotland, with the Scottish Executive (SE) carried out a separate consultation exercise between November 2006 and February 2007.Proposals were put forward for updating the list of non-native species covered under schedule 9 of the Act. Additionally, the consultation also looked at the possibility for the banning in the sale of certain species deemed to be of particular threat to biodiversity through release into the UK environment. These species were recommended by Natural England (NE) and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).
Within the Audit of Non-Native species in England (2005), Natural England commented;
“The question of whether they reached our shores by introduction or by natural
colonization is hardly relevant. What matters is the effect that they have
on our environment and crops”
(p33. Hill et al, 2005).

1.2.4. Countryside & Right of Way Act 2000

The Countryside and Right of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) strengthens the WCA 1981 by increasing the maximum penalties for breaches in Section 14 of the WCA 1981 (EA2. 2003), and omitting as new section, 19ZA, allowing the entry of inspectors to premises (except dwellings) that may be under suspicion of an offence (Central Science Laboratory. 2008). Article 74 of the CROW Act stipulates that there is a duty for Ministers and Governmental Departments to put consideration into conserving biodiversity according to the CBD (Article 8(h)).

Currently, Great Britain through Defra’s Plant Health Division spends £10million per annum on bio-security, and most of this is related to non-native species issues (Defra3. 2007).

1.3. Organisations

1.3.1. European Community Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism

Managed by the European Environment Agency (EEM) the EC Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism (EC-CHM) was put in place to fulfil the EC obligations towards the CBD. Its objective is to organise and promote technical cooperation transfer within the EC and the rest of the world.

1.3.2. NOBANIS

The North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS) is the development of a data-base on IAS available on-line to facilitate the bringing together of information on management and control of IAS.
In following the CBD, the NOBANIS network installs the precautionary principle to management processes, and puts together regional cooperation to aid the problems associated with IAS.

1.3.3. UKBAP

The United Kingdom Biodiversity action Plan or UKBAP, was launched in 1994 as the UKs response to the CBD as the method or dealing with the pressures facing the UK environment.
UKBAP started by identifying a list of species and habitats within the UK that were in Conservation Concern. Using this list, a series of action plans were drawn (published in Tranche 1 and Tranche 2) and targets and guidelines were arranged covering the whole of the UK. From the UKBAP, other groups were established to help facilitate conservation by the Biodiversity Information Group, Targets Group and the Biodiversity Research Working Group. Progress made by UKBAP action plans are made in a three to five year cycle, the fifth UK BAP Partnership Conference in Aviemore, Scotland published Conserving Biodiversity - the UK Approach (2007), in it the UK Government stated;

“Given that invasive non-native species can have
serious and damaging effects on other components of biodiversity and social and economic interests, the UK is committed to having a non-native species strategy in place
in 2007 and implemented by 2010”.

p.9 Conserving Biodiversity – The UK Approach October 2007 (Defra5 2007)

1.3.4. CABI

CABI is a not for profit organization, specialising in scientific publishing, research and communication. Its mission is to bring together scientific information and support and offer consultation on issues concerning environmental health and wellbeing. Starting as a commonwealth organization in the early 20th century CABI has developed into a world service in agricultural information, pest identification and biocontrol. Together with the IUCN, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), CABI started the Global Invasive Species Program (GISP) in 1996. The GISP’s mission is to conserve biodiversity and sustain livelihoods by minimising the spread and impact of invasive species.
In the GISP’s Invasive species management – what taxonomic support is needed? (2008) the GISP stated;
“Taxonomic support for invasives management can be dramatically scaled up
by building on existing best practice, networks,
information systems and tools”

(p2. Smith R D, Aradottir G I, Taylor A & Lyal C H C. 2008)

CABI is currently conducting a web-based questionnaire on invasive riparian plant species in Europe. The questionnaire is specifically aimed at land managers, regional government departments and organizations which come into contact with, and/or deal with the control of invasive riparian plants (a link to the questionnaire is included in appendix).

1.4. Impatiens glandulifera Royal
Kingdom - Plantae
Sub-Kingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants)
Phylum - Magnoliophyta (angiospermes, angiosperms, flowering plants)
Class - Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons)
Sub-class - Rosidae
Order - Geraniales
Family - Balsaminaceae (touch-me-nots)
Genus - Impatiens
Species - glandulifera

Impatiens glandulifera Royal - Ornamental jewelweed

Impatiens glandulifera Royal (Himalayan Balsam, Policeman’s helmet, Indian Balsam) has been placed by the Environment Agency on their Top Ten “Most Wanted” IAS list at number 6 (EA3. 2006). Within mainland Europe, New Zealand, North America and Russia too, it has becomes quite problematic (Helmisaari. 2006 : Hulme. 2006 : Zygmunt. 1998).
Originating in the Himalayas, it was first introduced into Europe to Kew Gardens by John Forbes Royle. (1799-1858) (Helmisaari, 2006 : TCM (R&D) 2008). Since then it has escaped into the wild environment and become established through out the UK and is likely to spread North-wards (DAISIE. 2008).
Figure 4.
I. glandulifera in Europe.
Image: DAISIE 2008.

I. glandulifera is typically a riparian plant, but as a eurytopic plant has been know to colonise other damp ground also (HDRA. 2007). It favours best in nutrient rich environments, but has even been recorded in grasslands, roadsides and seashores (Helmisaari. 2006).

Figure 5.
Front view of the flower
Photo: © M. Storey

The stems of the plant are long, hollow and brittle. Leaves are serrated and very in shade from light to dark green. Growing annually to around 3meters (m) tall the plant is recognised by it distinctive pink/purple flower structure where it derivers the name policeman’s helmet. The flower appears from June to October in whorls of 3, glabrous, lanceolate to elliptical. The inflorescences are racemes of 2-14 flowers. With zygomorphic flowers, the lowest sepal forming the sac that ends in a straight spur.
Around July seed pods can start to appear and develop. When fully developed, the seed dispersal fires the seeds by torque retraction.
Current control measures are cutting (which needs to be carried out through the growing season. Spraying with an herbicide containing Glyphosate or 2,4-D amine (in early spring ideally), and will need approval by Environment Agency (EA) if near water.
Eradication is possible within 2-3 years if control measures are constant and thorough (EA3. 2006).

2. Methodology

National Trust managed Penrose Estate Helston, Cornwall, was selected as a substantially Impatiens glandulifera affected area. After consulting and gaining permission with the Trust, using data previously recorded following J. Dinsdale’s Invasive Plant Survey, The Lizard and Mounts’s Bay (2000), suspected I. glandulifera zones were tracked and mapped using a Global Positioning System (GPS) Unit.
Using the produced map, an area of Willow Carr with Balsam surrounding the River Cober that flows through the Estate to Loe Pool, was selected, know as site K.
Site K was selected by;
Its distance from the main pathway located on the opposite side of the pool limiting interference from the public.
The large and relatively flat field (containing mixed open flora that had in the past been grazed by livestock) bordering an I. glandulifera zone.
Its representation of an herbaceous riparian habitat that has been colonised by I. glandulifera surrounded by a typical Willow Carr mesotrophic habitat containing Salix alba (White willow), Salix caprea (Goat willow), Quercus petraea (Sessile oak) and Acer pseudoplantanus (sycamore) etc..

Site K was then cut to level the field, and smaller brush cutters were then used to form a straight line and edge to the Balsam cutting through the various Urticeae, Typhaceae, Gramineae and Pteridophytes species surrounding the I. glandulifera within the Carr.
Two cotton sheets (dimensions: 3m x 5m) marked with lines depicting consecutive distances (per meter), were laid out in-front of the Balsam for the collection of the seeds.

Figure 6.
The cut field with one sheet in position for seed collection.
Photo: LE Marsh 2007.

The plants were then encouraged to release the seeds contained in their pod sacks by the tapping of base of the plants simulating the natural seed releasing process (light contact made by passing animal, falling object, wind or the seeds themselves hitting another plant). Usual practice was to tap plants three, four and sometimes five rows back to ensure a good range and mixture of plants with good seed dispersal and an accurate all over seed scattering. Dispersed seeds were then measured by their distance travelled onto the sheet, and counted giving an overall number of seed scattered (f), and measurement of seed dispersal range (x).
It was important to monitor the Balsam regularly to ascertain exactly when the seed pods were ready to begin dispersing the seeds. When this period had sufficiently started commencing, on random dates, usually when the wind was at a moderate to low velocity, the site was visited and the records taken. Records were taken until the seed frequency and projection had sufficiently dropped to satisfy the result accuracy.
Site K was visited a total of eight occasions (22.08. - 12.10.2007). During these visits, the seed dispersal was recorded 10 times from marked corresponding spots to increase the accuracy of seed dispersal measurement. This gave a total of 80 separate measurements of f and x condensed into 23 distance readings per date for processing.
Figure 7.
I. glandulifera within Penrose Estate showing Site K.
Image: LE Marsh & Cornwall County Council 2007

Figure 8.
Zoning of I. glandulifera (in red) within Site K.
Image: LE Marsh 2008.

By calculating mean distance of the seeds dispersal (∑ f x / ∑ f ), giving the average distance for the seed coverage, this will give the distance expected to receive the seeds in their average maximum projection from the I. glandulifera wall that the measurements were taken from.
The resulting number can then be transferred into diagrams and tables to illustrate the expected propagation distance, as an average over a neutral area*.

* It would be impossible to include all the variables such as seed mortality, growth inhibiters such as other plants and physical borders such as roads, rivers etc.
3. Results

The total seed frequency over the experiment was 11313 seeds.
The mean distance given was 2.03 meters from the line of Balsam.
Inside the mean distance, it can be assumed that the plant mass behind the tested plants will fill the void of seeds (0m to mean). Seed frequency over the mean totals 5039 (44.5% of the total frequency), this suggests that even though the mean, and the considered spread per season is 2m, the potential for the plant to propagate at greater distances is also proved.

The results have shown that the most likely, and to be most expected in a neutral area, the seasonal spread of Impatiens glandulifera will be 2 meters per year.

4. Analysis

With the given data acquired, and with that can be assumed that the average blast radius for each season’s seed storage, growth can be measured seasonally by using the accepted p R2 from a single starting plant to illustrate growth over seasons;

Year 1. p x 22 = 4p = 12m2

Figure 9.
Starting from a single plant +, the scattering is shown as a blast area of 12m2
Image: LE Marsh & M Witchalls

Year 2. p X 42 = 16p = 48m2

Figure 10.
The second year’s scattering radius of 48m2, taken on an eight point measurement
Image: LE Marsh & M Witchall

Year 3. p X 62 = 36p = 108m2

Figure 11.
The third year’s scattering radius of 108m2, taken on a eight point measurement
Image: LE Marsh & M Witchall

Each seasons seed distribution, will inside the previous years area thicken the plant mass and increase the potential for spread.
At his point it is not possible to measure the mortality rate of I. glandulifera seed as there was no literature found to consult, however, in lab conditions germination was high (58-92%) in I. glandulifera seeds (Kollmann & Bañuelos 2004), and with the high tolerance to frost by the plant (Beerling & Perrins. 1993) seed germination in the wild can be expected to be high.

4.1. Management of Impatiens glandulifera

The spread of I. glandulifera is startling. Within a typical riparian area, such as Penrose, factors will prevent the assault of the plant spread. With site K, the field that the measurements were taken is continually cut and used by walkers and grazing in livestock. This would represent a barrier to the growth and the spread of the Balsam. Away from the front towards the river and pool, the Carr itself with its S. alba, S. caprea and A. pseudoplantanus constrain the growth by competition for light and nutrients with more estabnlished larger plant species. As different patterns of affinity to different riparian zones can limit growth success (PyŠek & Prach 1993), the rate of spread can be various for the invader.
However, when I. glandulifera is present within an area, the rate of growth shown in this work at 2m per season in seed propagation, shows that given the right environmental conditions and allowed un-hindered growth, I. glandulifera presents itself as a considerable threat to biodiversity.

4.1.1. Invasion Propagation

The riparian habitat is a key element of a river function (Munné et al. 2002).
Terrestrial vegetation surrounding the water course (the riparian zone) has two influences on the resources’ available to its inhabitants (Townsend et al. 2003), one being shade, the second being the plant itself by the leaf and body providing primary production utilised by heterotrophic organisms along the food chain, and in-turn being returned into the biological system by decomposition.

Figure 12.
Zone of I. glandulifera out of summer season Image LE Marsh

Figure 13.
The Balsam line of vegetation. This shows the level of cover expected during
the summer growing season compared to winter in figure 16
Photo: LE Marsh

I. glandulifera, as an annual plant growing seasonally during the summer periods only, will therefore reduce the levels of both these necessary elements for a productive riparian habitat. During the periods the plant is abundant shading will lower growth potential for other plants, having the most effect on light-demanding species (Hulme & Bremner 2006), and when the plant is absent by removal of plant matter for food. A typical riparian habitat within the (as Penrose Estate provided) has various Phragmites, Typha, Blyceria, Carex, Phalaris, Juncus and Scirpus (Rushes, reeds and sedges) plants as well as other annual, perennial and deciduous small vegetation, small trees and shrubs. Many of these riparian plants are perennial helophytes, and grow usually by rhizome spreading. As time progresses, the competition between the plants will move in favour of the invasive as explained by the Invasive Meltdown Hypothesis which argues that the rate of invasions will actually increase with time partially because the disruption of native species promotes further invasions, and partly because some invaders have facilitative rather than negative effects on later arrivals (i.e. soil acidification in R. ponticum) (Begon et al. 2006) and covarying factors such as nutrients, seed numbers and disturbance can influence the invasivibilty of communities and the success of invaders (p. 75. Myers & Bazely. 2003). Riparian plants in mesotrophic zones with high leaching reducing nutrient availability, competing against plants such as I. glandulifera with high seed production and shown spreading, and with the annual life cycle of I. glandulifera disrupting the light and shading availability, shows that native plants are placed under unusual conditions that, as shown in Penrose, leads to the dominance of the invader for light and space.

Apart from the biological changes to the environment by IAS, there can also be geomorphic changes to the environment, as plants such as I. glandulifera can disrupt the soil bonding process through their annual lifestyle making river banks susceptible to erosion (Invasive Weeds Agency 2008 : EA2 2003).
Helophytes such as reeds, have a bonding process to the soil and sediment build up along the river bank (Whitton 1975). Here, as in terrestrial plants, the biological loop of nutrients and their availability is important for the structure of the plant community and so the reliance on soil for stability and nutrient capture is essential for the riparian zone.
Succession along the riverbank starts in the riparian zone as the creation of freshwater wetlands is enhanced by the sediment carrying properties of rivers (p. 172 Dobson & Frid. 1998).

Figure 14.
Succession in a Riparian habitat.
Image: Adapted from BoDD

Nutrients, the gasses and minerals needed for growth in riparian plants, are made available by both the water and the soil (Haslam 2006). It seems probable that water flow is more important for the supply of one of the needed nutrients Carbon, because Carbon is one of the nutrients most likely to be limiting for the growth of submerged shoots (Westlake et al. 1972) and every plant has a certain limited physiological tolerance for each condition, or each combination and sequence of conditions, in an immediate environment (p. 15 Reid & Wood. 1976). As the flow rates and nutrient availability up and down the water course are disrupted, by both geomorphic and hydrological changes (such caused by erosion) the riparian system becomes disrupted by the changes in nutrient availability. As explained earlier in the Invasive Meltdown Hypothesis, the neophyte I. glandulifera disrupts the riverbank community morphology by replacing the natural helophytes system of binding sediment into the riparian zone. Which now instead of supporting a succession of organisms as it develops, instead, supports a much lower, almost monoculture system along the riverbank that regress the riverbank ecology. As the I. glandulifera area expands, the seeds are dispersed to other areas of the water course and they too become susceptible to erosion and neophyte introduction adding to habitat loss.
Without riparian plants on the banks to fix CO2 as would be the normal process, and considering that riparian plants can fix 20 % from evasion from the water course (Garnett, M. H.; Billett, M. F. 2007), the removal of vegetation and the sudden mass growth of vegetation as characterised by annual eurytopic neophyte Impatiens glandulifera, could have effects not only to the other riparian plants, the organisms that live within that community, the organisms that utilise the riparian zone, but also other ecosystems such as pond communities as riparian systems are replaced by I. glandulifera dominated ecological systems.

4.1.2. Insects and Pollination

Until a plant has been found to have a function, it will be considered a weed and therefore un-wanted (Myers & Bazely. 2003).

Bee species are not protected species, although their numbers are decreasing (PCC. 2008). There is a bee decline, which is affecting domesticated and wild bee populations around the world (National Geographic 2008), and disease is suspected to be the main cause for the decline in the bee populations (Temple 2001). The estimated value of crops grown commercially in the UK that benefit from bee pollination is around £120m-£200m p.a (Defra4 2008) but the main value of bees is through the pollination of crops, wild flowers and garden plants as Honey bees and bumble bees generally outnumber all other pollinators (BFAUK 2008).
The decline in the population has been put down to disease. In the UK, the arrival of the three main diseases causing decline are American foul brood (AFB), European foul brood (EFB) and Varroa (The parasitic mite Varroa destructor) have been highlighted as particularly problematic (Temple 2001). Also, it has been suggested by Scientist at Landau University, Germany, that Colony Collapse Disorder through electromagnetic radiation emitting from mobile phone and base stations effects navigation in the bees too (Ecologist. 2007)

I. glandulifera has been described as a copious nectar producing plant (TCM R&D 2008). It has the ability to produce a higher rate of sugar compared to other plants. I. glandulifera rate of sugar production is at 0.47 0.12mg per flower per hour, placing it higher in sugar production than any other central European plant (Chittka & Schürkens. 2001). As its flowers late, so the nectar and pollen can also be acquired late by pollinating insects (NM & G of NI. 2008 & WNWCB 2008) making it particularly favourable to pollinating insects such as bees.
Martha Elena Lopezaraiza-Mikel in her PhD Thesis (unpublished) The impact of alien species on native pollination systems (2006), studied the interaction between insect pollinators and I. glandulifera. She found that quantitative visitation webs revealed a higher abundance and diversity of insects visiting native flowers at plots where the I. glandulifera was present. However, the results from the quantitative pollen transport webs, constructed from the pollen that the insects carry, revealed a substantive amount of pollen derived form I. glandulifera is carried in the plots where I. glandulifera is present.
Bee keeper, such as Eric John Webb from Cardiff have claimed benefits from the plants introduction to the bees ecology, stating that the honey produced by bees that utilise this plants high sugar content nectar have a toffee taste and high aroma (ic Wales 2008).

Figure 15.
Bonbus terrestris (Buff-tailed bumblebee) visits I. glandulifera
Photo: Jiři Bohdal

In Bumble-bees (Hym., bombidae) associated with the expansive touch-me-not, Impatiens glandulifera in wetland biocorridors (1998), Starý & Tkalcú found that Bombus (bee) species targeted I. glandulifera over native common species, and, Despite its invasive effects on the native plant communities in wetlands, I. glandulifera contributed to the conservation of common bumble-bee species, as well as to an over-all positive role of wetlands in the cultivated landscape (Starý & Tkalcú 1998).

However, the issue of whether the other pollinators also target I. glandulifera over the native species is harder question.
Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma. In regards to insects (and certain other animals), pollination is either cross pollination when an organism transfers the pollen from one plant to another, or, self pollination when the organism transplants the pollen from anther to stigma of the same plant. Through this almost symbiotic system, certain plant will rely heavily on insect for reproduction. Periods of plant pollen availability is various between different plant species as development is different between species and climatic variances (Cambridge 2001), and the massive number of plants within the UK make it difficult to compare the affect I. glandulifera has towards an individual habitat as differences in latitude effect the growing season of I. glandulifera (Kollmann & Baňuelos 2004).
Alien plants such as I. glandulifera do compete with native plants for flower visitors and therefore generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway for integration of IAS into new pollination systems (Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Hayes, Whalley & Memmott 2007). With this, the IAS must have a limiting effect to the native varieties reproductive systems, as the availability of pollinators decreases with the population of IAS increase. This is especially problematic with mass invaders such as I. glandulifera with shown high propagation dynamics.

4.1.3. The Threat of Impatiens glandulifera

The spreading in the Balsam in Penrose has shown that given the right conditions, the plant has the biological ability to flourish in the UK riparian habitat. What’s more, the rate of spread in the plant is quite immeasurable, as the plants ability to disrupt native ecosystems and establish its own whilst spreading from the neophytes original established point, can be virtually instantaneous or follow a prolonged time lag (Henderson, Dawson & Whittaker 2006).
The mathematical formula shows that I. glandulifera has a massive ability to increase the size of its area over a seasonal time scale, but it must also be noted that the range of the seeds was actually over the 2m established line (45% of seeds were over the 2m). So, the threat of an even greater area of next generation I. glandulifera is easily acceptable. Factor this in with the seeds ability to attach to animals through contact, water course transportation, accidental introduction, illegal intentional introduction and the incorrect or inefficient handling in the control of the species.
Within a short distance form Penrose Estate, is the wetland habitat of Gunwalloe.

Figure 16.
Gunwalloe wetland
Photo: LE Marsh 2008

This wetland is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and with Marazion further down the coast, is the one of the largest wetlands in Cornwall (Cornwall Wildlife Trust 2008). Managed by the National Trust, Carminowe Creek which is connected with Loe Pool shares various tributaries with Gunwalloe, also there is a multitude of Public Rights of Way as well was the Coastal paths connecting the two sites. I. glandulifera as shown not only has very quick and easy spreading ability through contact with human and animals, seed propagation, also with the knowledge that does have limited tolerance to saline conditions (Helmisaari. 2006), if the neophyte were to make it to Gunwalloe, without the Carr with its large dominate species, the pathways and cut fields to limit growth, I. glandulifera might as with the mesotrophic zones on Penrose, establish itself in this important habitat.

4.1.4. The Riparian as a Habitat

Outside of the direct organisms living within the riparian zone, there are also organisms that rely on the area as a habitat indirectly or partially.
Emberiza schoeniclus (Reed bunting) is a semi-migratory seed eating bird can be found commonly in riparian areas. The bird is placed on the Joint Nature Conservation Council (JNCC) Red list (high concern) of Birds of Conservation Concern, and the UK Biodiversity Group as a “Species of Conservation Concern”. E. schoeniclus is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and EC Birds Directive, and is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention.
Figure 17.
Emberiza schoeniclus
Photo: Birdguides

This species has declined in numbers significantly since 1970’s and net losses are placed at 50% from 1970 numbers and one of the major threats to the species is the decline in habitat range and overall loss of habitat availability (Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership. 2004). The breakdown of riparian habitat is seen to affect the E. schoeniclus population (UKBAP 2008).
In temperate zones, such as the UK, riparian habitats occupy a minor proportion of the overall land base, and yet, represent a disproportionate high use by wildlife (Haag & Dickinson. 2000). Along with E. schoeniclus a selection of species found in the riparian and riverbank community that stand to lose habitat are*;
Lacerta agilis (Sand Lizard) - protected under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations, 1994 (Regulation 38) and Schedule 5 of the WCA 1981.
Epidalea calamita (Natterjack toad) - UKBAP priority species
Natrix natrix (Grass snake) - UKBAP priory species
Vipera berus (Adder) - protected under the WCA,1981
Alcedo atthis (Kingfisher) - protection under the Schedule 1 of the WCA 1981
Tachybaptus ruficollis (Little grebe) - Classified as a Species of Conservation Importance (EU); protection in the UK under the WCA 1981
Cygnus olor (Mute swan) - included in the Birds of Conservation Concern Amber List (medium conservation concern)
Charadrius dubius (Little Ringed Plover)- protected under Schedule 1 of the WCA 1981
Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Pipistrelle Bat) - listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention, Annex IV of the EC Habitats Directive and Appendix II of the Bonn Convention (and is included under the Agreement on the Conservation of Bats in Europe). It is protected under Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations, 1994 (Regulation 38) and Schedules 5 and 6 of the WCA 1981 and Schedules 5 and 6 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985
Lutra lutra (Otter) – recorded in appendix 1 of CITES, Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive. It is protected under Schedule 5 of the WCA 1981 and Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations, 1994 (Regulation 38). The European sub-species is also listed as globally threatened on the IUCNs World Conservation Monitoring Centre Red Data List

*List of species comprised from The New Rivers & Wildlife handbook (1995) by The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds & The National Rivers Authority.
5. Discussion

5.1. Management of IAS

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) represent a serious threat to biodiversity which needs to be addressed if the EU is to attain its goal "to halt the decline of biodiversity by 2010"
Presidency Conclusions, Goteborg European Council, 15-16 June 2001*
* (Europa 2008).

Europe provides a major market both in export and import in trade which has facilitated the spreading in IAS in a diversity of means (Hulme1. 2007).
In the past, the Drivers-Pressures-States-Impacts-Responses framework has been used to manage environmental pressures, but the use of this has been limited towards IAS control (Hulme1. 2007).

The framework, known under the acronym of DPSIR is arranged under;
Drivers being the socio-economic and socio-cultural forces underpinning human activities that determine the magnitude of biological invasions
Pressures reflect the exposure of ecosystems to the threat of alien species
States are measurements of the condition of the environment in terms of the distribution and abundance of alien species
Impacts are the effects of alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem function
Responses is the regulatory and strategic actions available to society to mitigate the threat of invasions in each of the four preceding framework components

With trade being the established main component in the movement of species both intentionally, and un-intentionally, this can therefore be established as the Driver in DPSIR framework for IAS. With the use of alien species in farming, forestry, aquaculture and for recreational purposes increasing in much of Europe since the beginning of the 20th century, the potential for an increase in IAS and their effects to the environment, increase too.
Needs assessments at national, regional and global levels have been called for by the Convention on Biological Diversity (BioNET & the National History Museum. 2007), and after the assessment of pressures, states and impacts lined out in the DPSIR, the requirement for the appropriate responses to the threat posed by IAS is the next step.

At present there is no unified system to control in IAS (Miko. 2006). However, IAS poses threats, by not only there physical presence, but also the diseases they might carry. European states have a comprehensive framework of laws and procedures that have harmonised with international phytosanitary, zoosanitary and trade rules, with much of the current management in both legal and advisory framework directed towards reducing IAS effects to agriculture, livestock and aquaculture (Hulme1 2007). Many of these biosecurity controls are in the method of quarantine and certification procedures and most regions have some institution addressing IAS or quarantine issues, however frequently these are poorly resourced or limited in their thematic focus (Burgiel 2008).

The threat posed by organisms outside of this current framework, where by they are deliberately rather than they are accidentally introduced, as show by the I. glandulifera escaping from private gardens, shows a hole in the current legislation, management and control measures imposed within the EU. With the alien species itself being the commodity, usually, but not necessarily, a commercially valuable species that is traded, the rules and regulation regarding the transportation, movements of shipments and the numbers in trade are not necessarily known. For example, on the internet in E-Bay, seeds for Impatiens glandulifera can be purchased from the United States for 20 seeds at $2.75 (1.4045 UK Pounds GBP) per pack and Fallopia japonica for $5.45 (2.7821 UK Pounds GBP) and, once introduced, alien species may spread across the region through natural, rather than human-assisted, dispersal (p. 7. Hulme2 et al. 2007) and as aliens occur most frequently in villages, cities and riparian habitats (Pyšek & Prach1. 1998) these sites, especially the riparian with the water systems, provide potential for future spreading into the landscape as seen by the I. glandulifera within Penrose Estate.

A 2005 audit carried out by Natural England recorded 2,271 non-native species in England, of which 188 had a negative economic impact and 122 had a negative environmental impact (POSTnote. 2008) of which both, Impatiens glandulifera and Fallopia japonica were included.

In Scotland the ban in sale of certain alien species was consulted in 2006. Here, Deputy Environment Minister Rhona Brankin for the SE said:
“While we do not intend to make extensive use of the power to ban sale,
it is entirely right that that we ban those species that pose an unacceptable risk to Scotland's diverse mix of wildlife and habitats”.

Despite the Bern Convention efforts, Europe’s practical programmes and coordination on invasive alien species lag behind many other regions of the world (p. 6, Hulme PE, Roy DB, Cunha T & Larsson TB. 2008). There is currently no control in UK legislation on the release of invasive non-native species into the wild, apart from those species listed on Schedule 9. The addition of more species onto Schedule 9 of the WCA 1981, as pioneered by the SE and probable for the rest of the UK, will only be limited in the effectiveness against controlling IAS, as, as shown again with I. glandulifera, the main problem comes from when the species is outside control measures and into the wild.

However, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) enables nations to impose stricter controls on trade in certain species and this is transposed into European Law by The European Union Wildlife Trade Regulation Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97, 6(d) where it states;
“in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 18.. the Commission
may establish general restrictions, or restrictions relating to certain
countries of origin, on the introduction into the Community of live specimens of
species for which it has been established that their introduction into
the natural environment of the Community presents an ecological threat to wild species of fauna and flora indigenous to the Community”.

If the addition of I. glandulifera was to be included section 14(2) of the WCA 1981, the legal perimeters would only be in preventing the intentional introduction of the plant into the wild, how does this control accidental introductions?
In keeping with the CBD established precautionary principle, or precautionary approach, the concept of putting in place actions that avoid serious or potential harm, whether scientific certainty is available or not (IUCN 2003), shown by invasions of I. glandulifera to places such as Penrose, that might threat another area such as Gunwalloe, means that the correct action in keeping with this idea, is the ban in the trade of Invasive Alien Species such as I. glandulifera.
But is a complete ban practical and enforceable?

5.2. Conclusion

Until the later twentieth century, good vegetation could be taken for granted in areas of low population and industry (Haslam 2006). And this seems to be the status quo with the management regarding IAS. Usually, management actions are initiated against invasive plant species before ecological studies are conducted to determine the ecological values and problems associated with these species (Edwards. 1998). The issue of Bees and their decline has shown that there are certain benefits to the introduction of certain IAS such as I. glandulifera. As safeguarding the bee health is a public issue and, as shown, the benefits of bee towards human and the environment makes bees important assets and so the responsibility for safeguarding bee health falls to the government (Temple 2001) thus safeguarding I. glandulifera too. Therefore, holistic management and control may be a better method than complete ban, as well as deciding what is an invasive. Is a plant that finds a niche in an environment at the detriment to others a weed, or simply a pioneer towards a progressive equilibrium of change?
In Europe historic records are able to show the “new” plants that have been introduced since the year 1500 (Myers & Bazely 2006), however, if a plant were to of been native to an area before an ice age, and have since been absent, is their introduction again invasion or reestablishment? The lines separating this issue are more blurred when you consider plants that are native to border of a European country and might be absent within Europe.

In the completion on this work, the amount of solid and in-depth information on the ecological systems regarding IAS was large, but no specific to regions and areas. CABI has recently highlighted the issue of lacking in ground level knowledge in individual ecosystems. Shown in the Impatiens glandulifera in National Trusts Penrose Estate, an IAS when introduced will have the ability to progress through an ecosystem, and the knowledge of where it came from and where it was going is not clear, but what is clear, is the necessity for more in-depth material on the ecological effects and zonation of IAS as a method of control and management.

High ecological status is what would be present in the absence of human impact (Haslam 2006), but for most of the time this is not practical or reasonable to acquire. Human interaction towards the environment has to be formed on a stewardship regime and the individual pieces of the environment need to be found and ascertained to apply the holistic management techniques, needed to correctly manage the total biodiversity.

6. List of Acronyms

AFB - American foul brood (disease acronym)
CABI - CAB International
CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity
CCW - Countryside Council for Wales
CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CROW Act - Countryside and Right of Way Act 2000
DAISIE - Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe
Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DPSIR - Drivers-Pressures-States-Impacts-Responses framework
EC - European Council
EC-CHM - EC Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism
EEM - European Environment Agency
EFB - European foul brood (disease acronym)
EU - European Unions
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
GISP - Global Invasive Species Program
GPS - Global Positioning System
GSIAS - Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species
IAS - Invasive Alien Species
IMO - International Maritime Organisation
IPCC - International Plant Protection Convention
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee
LIFE - European Unions Financial Instrument for the Environment
NE - Natural England (nee EN – English Nature)
NOBANIS - North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species
NT – National Trust
SANBI - South African National Biodiversity Institute
SCOPE - Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment
SE - Scottish Executive
SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest
TNC - The Nature Conservancy
UKBAP - UK Biodiversity Action Plan
WA - Welsh Assembly
WCA 1981 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

7. References

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Herborg LM., Rushton SP., Clarel AS. & Bentley MG. (unknown). The invasion of the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) in the United Kingdom and its comparison to Continental Europe, School of Marine Science & Technology & Centre for Life Science Modelling & School of Biology, Porter Building, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, available at http://rogue.ncl.ac.uk/file_store/nclep_291200933250.pdf.

icWales. (17.05.2008). Plant not an Asian invader, Wednesday, 13 October 2004, icWales, Media Wales Ltd, Oct 13 2004 South Wales Echo, available at http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/south-wales-echo-letters/tm_objectid=14751222&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=wednesday--13-october-2004-name_page.html

Imperial College. (01.04.2008). Revealed: the secrets of successful ecosystems, Press Relase14 Mar 2008, News and Events, Imperial College London, 2008, available at http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_14-3-2008-9-46-55.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) (14.04.2008). Alien invaders in ballast water - new Convention to be adopted at IMO, International Maritime Organisation, 2002, available at http://www.imo.org/About/mainframe.asp?topic_id=848&doc_id=3455.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO). (13.04.2008). International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, IMO, 2002, available at http://www.imo.org/conventions/mainframe.asp?topic_id=867.

Invasive Weeds Agency. (11.05.2008). Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), Invasive weeds agency, 2008, available at http://www.invasiveweedsagency.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=4

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC1) (02.04.2008). Marine, Marine Advice, Non-Native Species, Fauna, Eriocheir sinensis, 2008, available at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1709.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC2) (10.04.2008). Conventions & Legislation, Conventions, Bern, JNCC, 2008, available at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1364.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC3) (01.04.2008). Conventions & Legislation, European Legislation, EC Habitats Directive, JNCC, 2008, available at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1374.

Lopezaraiza Mikel M.E. (2006). The impact of alien species on native pollination systems (2006), unpublished PhD thesis, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, 2002 available at http://www.bio.bris.ac.uk/research/community/alproject5.html

Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN). (03.04.2008). Marine Aliens, Geographical distribution, Invasive nature, Chinese mitten crab, 2008 available at http://www.marlin.ac.uk/marine_aliens/species.asp?SpID=19.

Miko L. (04.05.2006). Invasive alien species: towards an European framework, Slideshow given by Ladislav Miko, Director, European Commission, DG Environment Directorate B: Protecting natural Environment, avalible at http://www.fundacion-biodiversidad.info/eei/pdf/Plenario%201/Madrid_IAS_Ladislav_Miko.pdf

National Geographic. (14.05.2008). Bee Decline May Spell End of Some Fruits, Vegetables, National Geographic on-line, October 5, 2004, 1996-2008 National Geographic Society, available at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1005_041005_honeybees.html

National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland and Environment and Heritage Service (NM & G of I) (14.05.2008). Flora of Northern Ireland, Impatiens glandulifera, National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland and Environment and Heritage Service, 2000-2008, available at http://www.habitas.org.uk/flora/species.asp?item=3189

Peterbrough City Council (PCC). (2008). Environmental Health – Bees, Peterborough City Council, available at http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/PDF/env-leaflet-eh-bees.pdf

State AD. (11.04.2008). Introduced species in the British Isles, Adrian D State 2003-2004, available at http://www.introduced-species.co.uk/Plants.htm.

TCM (R&D) (11.05.2008). Himalayan balsam, Invasive Weeds in Europe, 2006 tcm (r&d), available at http://www.t-c-m-rd.co.uk/invasive-weeds/himalayan-balsam/

The Convention on Biodiversity. (11.04.2008). Text of the Convention available at http://www.cbd.int/convention/convention.shtml.

United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) (03.04.2008). Action Plan for Austropotamobius pallipes, Plans, Species, Crustaceans, Austropotamobius pallipes, 2008, available at http://www.ukbap.org.uk/ukplans.aspx?ID=124

United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP). (14.05.2008). Action Plan for Reed Bunting, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2007, available at http://www.ukbap.org.uk/UKPlans.aspx?ID=279

Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (WNWCB) (14.05.2008) Written Findings of the State Noxious Weed Control Board - Class B - B-designate Weed, Glandulifera, available at http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/Impatiens_glandulifera.html
8. Appendix
CAB survey on Riparian Habitats http://www.cabi.org/datapage.asp?iDocID=1088

Sunday, 25 January 2009


Defining wildlife crime is difficult, and the absence of doing so, can be perceived to have negative impacts on the publics perception of wildlife crime (EAC1 2004). This confusion and associated ignorance means that assessing the true scale of the impact of wildlife crime is impossible and the methods of combating it reduced. Also, where as some areas such as the illegal trade in ivory have a high profile thus high reaction, other areas such as the trade in insects, such as Butterflies for collectors and the pet trade, raises less attention, so slips through the net [sic]. The definition of a crime must carry the need to asses what exactly is the crime too (Hart 2008), so understanding who, takes what from where, also needs to be developed. This is further complicated by the issue that most wildlife crime is species specific, but many environmentalist see protection of the ecosystem as a whole the greater objective, and whilst the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has some 30,000 animals and plants listed within its appendixes, habitat protection falls into other legislation creating a void between the same objective. In 2003, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) with Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations (SNCO) and Non-Governmental Organisations convened in a workshop to identify species and protected sites chosen to be most under threat from wildlife crime (NE2 2005), which shows there is consideration towards the issue of cross over, but Willem Wijnstekers CITES Secretary-General in 2004 stated;
“We are in danger of losing the war against wildlife crime, especially for some very rare animals and plants, unless modern professional law enforcement techniques are directed against criminals.” (UN3 2008).
The UK's, the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in Wildlife Crime in the UK 2007/08 (2008) defines wildlife crime as; The illegal trade in protected species, crimes involving native species that are endangered or of conservation concern, the persecution of wildlife species, and criminal offences affecting biodiversity (p2).
But does this justify the complexity of wildlife crime and incorporate its many guises? Does the current system provide adequate protection and security towards an increasingly reduced, exploited and attacked natural environment and ecological systems?
Using three examples of wildlife crime, and contrasts of issues within them, this report hopes to develop an opinion towards answering these questions.

2. The Orang-utan

There are two species of orang-utan left in the wild, Pongo abelii (Sumatran Orang-utan) and Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean Orang-utan), both are included in the International Union for Conservation of Natures (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and so both are included in appendix I of CITES (IUCN4 2008).

The main threat to these animals is habitat destruction, but the other threats facing these animals are hunting, population fragmentation, natural pressures such as fire and the pet/tourist trade. Indeed, a by-product from the timber trade both legal and illegal conducted, is the illegal trade in orang-utans with the routes used by the foresters down rivers and along roads into each forest, the same being travelled by captured apes (Nellemann et al 2008).

2.1. The Illegal pet trade and the Orang-utan
In Indonesia, orang-utans are kept as household pets as they are considered status symbols, or traded for use in the entertainment industry. They are the most expensive primates for sale in Indonesian markets, but once they reach adulthood many are killed or abandoned (Vince 2008).
Apart for CITES, domestic law within Indonesia (UU No 5/1990) prohibits the trade and hunting of the species, however, founder of Borneo Orang-utan Society (BOS), Dr.Ir. Willie Smits stated;
“We intercepted a big smuggling operation.. this one guy [Mr Hanson] smuggled 40 orang-utans within a period of six months to the United States, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, England, Japan and Taiwan… [Hanson] had people on the x-ray machines waiting to be paid off.. 22 baby orang-utans smuggled to Japan from Bali in hand, carry on luggage” (The Science Show 2004).

Many of the orang-utans end up smuggled across boarders internationally to Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Taiwan theme parks where they were trained to perform for visitors. In 2003, Safari World, a huge amusement park in Minburi, Thailand, was raided by Thailand’s Forestry Police with representatives of an Indonesian NGO and Thai police. Safari World was thought to have amassed 140 orang-utans, mainly youngsters many suspected to be taken and smuggled from Indonesia (IPPL5 2008). The raid found 115 orang-utans. Then in 2004, the Thai police, Indonesian Governmental officials, and GNO representatives raided again this time finding 69 orang-utan. The missing 41 were said to have died of natural causes and their carcases destroyed.
"It's really suspicious," said Major General Sawek Pinsinchai, chief of Thai Forestry Police (McGirk 2008).
Safari Worlds orang-utan shows were subsequently closed down. In late 2004, the International Primate Protection League (IPPL), released a report about a theme park called Safari World on the Thailand-Cambodia boarder on the Cambodian island of Koh Khong (IPPL 20086). Cambodian authorities confirmed to the IPPL that no import permits were issued for orangutans by the authority charged with issuing permits, the CITES Management Authority. Clearly the shipment(s) of orangutans into Cambodia were in violation of CITES (IPPL7 2008).

3. The Fox

The issue of fox hunting has to be one of the most contentious issues in Britain. The sport of hunting with horse and hounds goes back around 250 years (LACS8 2008), and today there are 318 registered hunts in England and Wales. With around a 100 members (not including supporters and club members) per hunt and the industry, though subscriptions to the hunting clubs, is worth around £14.9milion a year (SFH9 2008).
The hunts prey, the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), is one of the most successful animals in the world found on nearly all continents. A member of the Canidae, dog family, the fox is successful all over Britain too. It is because of this successfulness that the fox has become so pursued, and argued over in the UK. Foxes as predators, will, given the opportunity, kill most animals it can (including surplus killing). This has bought it into conflict with landowners such as livestock farmers and wild game-bird hunters alike. The hunting with horse and hound developed from this concern. Originally a form of pest control, it developed into a sport over time and into modern day fox hunting and is practiced in many countries in Europe and North America. Other field sports/pest control also developed apart from Horse and Hound (H&H) such as;
o Fell Packs – on foot with dogs after foxes
o Basset Packs – after rabbits, hare and foxes and recognised by the Masters of Basset Hounds Association
o Mink Packs - recognised by the Masters of Mink Hounds Association
o Deer Packs - recognised by the Masters of Deer Hounds Association
o Harrier Packs – mostly taking hares and recognised under the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles
o Hare Coursing

After the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004 (Scotland’s ban came into force 2002), the use of dogs to kill mammals (excluding rabbits) in Britain (not Northern Ireland) was prohibited and the fox became the symbol of attitudes towards hunting both for and against. Since the ban, drag hunts have carried on under the watchful eye of activists associated with the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS).

3.1. Fighting the Ban
Since the ban was bought in, in 2002 for Scotland followed by 2004 for the rest of Britain, there have been many investigations into illegal hunting with dogs (SFH12 2008).
In 2007, Paul McMullen, of Bootle, Merseyside, was fined £750 pounds and ordered to pay £5’000 in costs when he and two other men plus a juvenile (also paying fines of £500 each and costs of £2’896 pound each and their dog was confiscated) were convicted of using a dog (terrier) to kill a vixen. This was the first successful case bought by the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) by using the Act. The RSPCA had been called when they had been alerted that McMullen and his friends had been seen digging up a badger set. However, when the RSPCA Officer arrived a vixen was found, removed and then given post mortem. It was determined by the pathologist that the cause of death was multiple deep wounds caused by small dog bite (mauled to death) (BBC10 2008).
Again in 2007, Peter Blackhall and two others were fined £250 pounds each with £80 costs after they pleaded guilty to illegally hunting foxes and badgers with dogs under the Hunting Act. A teenager who was with them was given a caution and the men were ordered immediate forfeiture of their Land Rover (IFAW11 2008).
On YouTube™ also, there are countless posted videos of illegal kills with dogs with titles such as,
“fox killed by big missy real dog”
“Another Day, Another Fox”
And “Never back down”

4. American Ginseng

Panax quinquefolius, or American Ginseng has been used in various cultures as an herbal remedy for generations. Both the American and Asian varieties are taken as adaptogens, aphrodisiacs and stimulants.
The plant grows in wild shady forests in the North America and is a lucrative business in Canada, the United States, China and France. Whilst Canada is the largest suppler of cultivated Ginseug roots, the United States of America (US) is the largest supplier of wild American Ginseng roots. 95% of the plants produced in these manners are exported to Hong-Kong. Four types of root are produced in the Northern Americas;
i. Wild
ii. Cultivated
iii. Wild-stimulated
iv. Woods-grown

P. quinquefolius is listed in CITES Appendix II and Canada issues CITES permits for cultivated roots only. As there are no complete and reliable data on wild populations and because woods-grown and wild-simulated exports are reported as wild, there is a risk that false conclusions are being made that wild populations are not declining as well as risks to wild population from disease and genetic alteration from cultivated to wild stocks. Another concern is that Canadian wild populations are being used to subsidize cultivated stocks too (Sinclair 2005).
Listed as threatened in Canada in 1988 then re-evaluated as endangered in 1999, the plant was listed in the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (schedule I) and protected under Canada Species at Risk Act (SARA). This made it an offence to sell, trade or damage the habitat of the species. The plant was also designated “Espèce Menacée”, the highest category under the Endangered Species Act in Quebec. However, nine populations in Canada alone have been lost to harvesting (COSEWIC13 2000).
Currently, North American wild populations of Panax quinquefolius are suspected to subsidize the market illegally as much as 10% in Canada (worth $73,436 '000 Cdn in 2007*). This number is even heaver on the US wild population, as they supply virtually all of the wild root demands on the market (Sinclair 2005).
* Source: Statistics Canada, May 2008

5. Discussion

5.1. Typically, though frequently in the media spotlight, wildlife crime receives little attention from criminologists (Warchol 2004). The UK’s Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), for example, which successfully seized over 30’000 endangered species/products in the past 10 years, has a yearly budget of around £80’000, compared to the metropolitans overall budget of over £2.5million (WWF13 2008). This is despite that many wildlife crimes, such as the illegal pet trade, are not traded in isolation. Often, such crime forms part of a wider organised criminal net-work including arms, drugs and people trafficking and uses the same net-works and channels (Grieser-Johns et al 2005: Terhune 2008: Roberts 1996). Indeed, with the associated high profits (around $20Billion annually*), low risk of detection and low level of punishment (Sellar 2008), wildlife crime may even be viewed as a ‘soft’ option for criminal gangs and networks.
Though much of the international nature of the industry, international support is required across boarders to combat the smuggling crimes. This means levels of cooperation vary between countries in methods of detection, levels of interest, prioritisation and funding. Orang-utans, for instance, have a high priority in western media because of the high risk to the wild population the smuggling trade posses, the sentient nature of the animal and the relative ease of obtaining international support to combat the crime. Yet, the main threat to the Orang-utan comes from habitat loss posed largely from the Palm Oil industry, an industry aimed mainly at a western market (Nellemann et al 2008). In Indonesia in 2006, the minimum wage in Jakarta was 819,100 Rupiah (Rp) (about $89) per month (Gross & Conner 2006), and with the sale of an Orang-utan at around Rp5’000’000 ($546) on the street markets of Jakarta (OC14 2008), it might be perceived as hypocritical to criminalize and demonise a logger making some extra cash to feed his family, or a theme park owner making money from tourists, when western culture and consumerism has a share in the blame.

5.2. All crime, including wildlife crime, is by nature clandestine. Laws and state controls can therefore be seen to necessitate smuggling groups to devise creative and elaborate evasion methods (Andreas 2004). Though this, the treatment of cargo, especially live cargo, can be unnecessarily cruel to invade capture and maximise load and profit (i.e. the 22 baby orang-utans smuggled in carry-on luggage, see. 2.1.). When live cargo is smuggled in such manners, they are not permitted the normal legal animal welfare controls offered to legitimate animal transportation such as water, space, breaks etc. It can maybe then be argued that methods of control in wildlife trade relying on catching people ‘red handed’, only heightens the animal suffering.
Many traffickers utilise the falsification of legitimate documentation. However, to enforce against this requires customs officials to be acquainted with a wide range of expertise including zoological, archaeological, administrate, legal and sometimes geographical expertise. Whilst there is a wide, and ever widening offer of available and appropriate methods of forensic investigational techniques, complex legislation and the point that certain laws only apply to certain species, in certain situations (Defra15 2005), means that investigations into wildlife crimes are hindered and legally restricted in certain areas. Most of the seizures at customs are made in individual passengers luggage rather than postal/courier or freight (Pendry et al 2006) where the real bulk of trafficking happens. Once caught, the real crime, that of removal of the species illegally from the wild (or indeed the illegal poaching for products from), has already been done, add that in regards to the Orang-utan for example, a study by WWF and TRAFFIC discovered that fewer than 10% of people found in illegal possession of the apes were prosecuted (Vince 2008), shows that tackling crimes at borders, is not a effective method of control or conservation.
Wildlife crime that breaks boarders is even harder to control. The opportunities arising in business from the internet has been reflected in the wildlife crime business too. An on-line investigation carried out by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), found 7’122 on-line auctions/advertisements/communiqués, all offering products or live specimens in contradiction to CITES Appendix I & II listed species, offered nationally and internationally (IFAW16 2008). The US was found to be responsible for more than two-thirds of the trade over the net with many of the trade happening internally within the US, however, previous reports by IFAW such as Elephants on High Street (2004), that found a thriving trade in ivory on the internet in the UK, and, Bidding for Extinction (2007), that found on one popular on-line auction site ivory being openly traded in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Netherlands the U.K. and the U.S.. Again, rules regulations and laws governing the trade in endangered species are complex, diverse and differ from country to country. The internet offers a new equation to this too, as market place laws and rules regulating internet commerce, are not unified or reflective of many conservation laws nationally and internationally (IFAW15)
As the American Ginseng showed too, large scale industrial business that causes conservational damage is difficult to regulate as some times there is lacking as to knowledge of whether there is, or to what proportion, a crime is actually being committed. Plus, with the economical benefits provided, whether it be an herb such as Panax quinquefolius picked from the wild in Canada, or Pericopsis elata (Afrormosia) illegally logged in Africa, the political and governmental Will to overcome such problems, might be compromised.

5.3. The rules in CITES that indicates the level of protection towards a particular species by it designation under being placed into Appendix I, II or III, can make it illegal to import a particular species into a country without correct licensing. However, many countries do not put restrictions on types of animals allowed to be kept as pets. In the UK, both the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (and the Wildlife and Countryside Act for certain native species) which are implemented towards control in pets, are mainly in regards to standards of care and overseeing the licensing of a particular species and will for ‘exceptional circumstances’ allow the keeping of many endangered species including Gorilla and Tiger (Greenwood et al 2001). Legitimate trade in exotic species comes from captive breeding. However, ascertaining what captive breed is, and what is taken illegally from the wild, is not always easy or exact. The issue with this is, if you have an ever increasing population of legally breed species, and a decreasing population of wild species, does the legal population create a sink to hind the illegally trafficked species?
Illegally caught animals that are being trafficked need to be disposed of correctly, humanly and effectively. Re-introduction of a species back into the wild is rarely achievable (Pendry 2006). Most will end up in captive breeding programs, adding to the sink. Zoos and other animal sanctuaries regularly swap and transport animals transnational for their different breeding programs. Zoos are also obligated to regulate by different strategies their animal stocks (NCBI16 2008). However, surplus animal stocks for the successful zoos can be auctioned off to the highest bidder (Lewandowski 2003). Once a seized animal enters the system, it is then legitimised and gone from illegal to legal. The animal then legitimately enters the system of trade not to dissimilar from the illegal trade, where rarely breeding programs will successfully allow for the release of animals back to the wild because, although out of the 6000 or so endangered animals 120 are in captive breeding programs, most of these animals will be unfit for release through the lack of development in survival skills and resistance to common diseases (Grant 2006).

6. Conclusions and Recommendations

There is no real way of defining wildlife crime as it is too extensive. This literature has barely touched the surface (many other issues are to be raised upon the trade in products derived from animals such as skins, medicine, antiques etc.)
One thing has been shown though. The methods of control need to be pushed not at boarders within governmental level operations, but actually where the crime is occurring, in nature. Revenue needs to be established in the actual communities where conservation is needed, to push community involvement in conservation. Legislation and management implemented towards Protected Areas needs to be established that protect the entire ecosystem and incorporate all its biodiversity, and possibly also needs to have the people that cohabit them included in the same protection.
It is important not to forget our responsibilities locally. The attitudes towards legislation such as the Hunting Ban shows that ‘our’ society has failed to reach a harmonious relationship in our modern world with nature. To some extent, we need to tackle our sociological issues before we can hope to solve others.

7. Bibliography

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