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Deveron District Biosecurity Project 2015-16 – Invasive Species Control
This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage

The Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust (DBIT) launched the Deveron District Biosecurity Project in November 2009, after successfully securing substantial funding to allow the project to commence.

Richie Miller (DBIT), along with Chris Horrill (RAFTS) developed the Biosecurity Plan which sets out the Trust’s vision to protect the district from existing and potential non native species.This plan is the template and is followed by the Biosecurity Officer. One of the main responsibilities of the officer is to co-opt volunteers to assist in the monitoring and eradication programme throughout the entire Deveron district. The Water of Philorth, Water of Troupe and the Burn of Boyne are within the coastal remit of the River Deveron District Salmon Fishery Board so these watercourses are also incorporated into the project. Volunteers known as “river champions” assist by monitoring mink rafts and traps where there is evidence of mink and also help monitor areas for invasive non-native plants.

The DBIT were delighted to announce that an extension to the highly successful Biosecurity Project had been granted by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) during May 2015. The DBIT were awarded funding of £31,875 by SNH to allow the project to continue and develop over the next 15 months. The main objectives of the project extension are to continue the control of nuisance species and make the control more sustainable going forward. Phase 1 & 2 successes included the coordination of catchment wide (1266Km) control of the dangerous plant Giant Hogweed, including the use of techniques such as grazing control, the removal of 270+ American Mink and the control of 28 sites of Japanese Knotweed.

The 15 month funding package from SNH will allow the DBIT to continue to contract a full-time Biosecurity Officer to coordinate the project and also purchase the required project equipment. One of the main responsibilities of the officer will be to co-opt and manage volunteers (River Champions) and work with local landowners in the monitoring and control programme throughout the Deveron district. It is important to note that under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, the legal emphasis is now on the landowner to control invasive species such as the Giant Hogweed and compulsory control orders can be imposed by a competent authority such as SNH in some circumstances. Invasive Species control funding can be sought by landowners by applying to the SRDP programme. The Water of Philorth, Water of Troupe and the Burn of Boyne are within the coastal remit of the DBIT, so these watercourses are also covered by the project.

Invasive species issues are of increasing economic and ecological significance. Globalisation has expanded the possibilities, extent and complexity of world trade and the growth of the tourism market has expanded the number of destinations for activity holidays and travelers. These trends have led to the increased probability of the unintentional as well all as intentional introduction, establishment and spread of Invasive non-native species, parasites and diseases in Scotland. Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity and their ecological impacts and economic consequences can be devastating. This is reflected in the increasing priority given to invasive non-native species in the European and UK legal, strategy and planning frameworks. Examples of possible new threats to the Deveron catchment include the parasite Gyrodactylus salaris, signal crayfish and zebra mussels, all of which could cause environmental and huge financial damage to the Districts fisheries and local economy.

DBIT Senior Biologist, Richie Miller said “The funding granted by SNH is of huge importance, not only for the project continuing, but for the long-term protection of local biodiversity and tourism. The DBIT and local landowners have made great inroads reducing non-native species locally over the last 11 years and these success must be built upon”.

If anyone would like to participate by becoming a “river champion” or if landowners require advice on invasive species control and potential SRDP grants available, please contact the DBIT on 01466 711 388.


What is Biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a set of control, preventive and eradication measures designed to reduce the risk and environmental damage of infectious diseases, invasive non native species (INNS) and other living modified organisms.


What are Invasive Non Native Species?

Invasive non native species (INNS) are any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.

Non native species have long been introduced and used as ornamental plants or pets and only a small minority of them are or will become invasive (SNH, 2000). However, the threat from invasive species is growing at an increasing rate assisted by climate change, pollution and habitat disturbance. They are now recognised as the greatest threat to biodiversity next to habitat destruction and they threaten our native plants, animals and habitats.Globally, INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years (CBD, 2006). Many countries including Scotland are now facing complex and costly problems associated with invasive species.


INNS FACT FILE:

  • Globally, INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years (CBD, 2006).
  • Invasive non native species and fish diseases damage our environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.
  • They already cost the Scottish economy and therefore us upwards of £500 million per year and the UK economy £2-£6 billion per year.
  • A Scottish Government report estimated the potential Net Economic Value loss to Scotland of the introduction of the salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris at £633 million with severe consequences for rural communities.
  • In the UK Japanese Knotweed is thought to affect an area roughly the size of London and Defra has estimated the total cost of its removal using current techniques at £1.56bn.
  • £25 million is the estimated cost of clearing the invasive Rhododendron ponticum from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
  • If nothing is done the costs to our environment, economy and health will only increase.

Globally, INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years (CBD, 2006).

Invasive non native species and fish diseases damage our environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.

They already cost the Scottish economy and therefore us upwards of £500 million per year and the UK economy £2-£6 billion per year.

A Scottish Government report estimated the potential Net Economic Value loss to Scotland of the introduction of the salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris at £633 million with severe consequences for rural communities.

In the UK Japanese Knotweed is thought to affect an area roughly the size of London and Defra has estimated the total cost of its removal using current techniques at £1.56bn.

£25 million is the estimated cost of clearing the invasive Rhododendron ponticum from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

If nothing is done the costs to our environment, economy and health will only increase.

Fishing