Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 2623–2633 | Cite as

A decade of invertebrate colonization pressure on Scott Base in the Ross Sea region

  • Jana Newman
  • Ceisha Poirot
  • Rebecca Roper-Gee
  • Rachel I. Leihy
  • Steven L. ChownEmail author
Original Paper


Despite the significance of invertebrate species in the alien and invasive faunas of both sub-Antarctic and, increasingly, some Antarctic locations, little information exists on the numbers and identity of species being transported to the Antarctic region. Here we provide information on a decade (2006/2007–2016/2017) of detections in the surveillance program established at Scott Base in the Ross Sea region of continental Antarctica. The program found 233 individuals in 134 detection events, belonging to at least 14 Orders and 51 Families. Among these were alien, pest and synanthropic species recorded elsewhere on the globe or in the broader Antarctic region. These included sciarid flies known to have established in station sewage-treatment plants elsewhere on the continent. Flies, spiders and moths were most commonly detected, and typically in food (60% of interceptions), and then in clothing and equipment (11%), aircraft and cargo (11%) and packaging material (11%). Detected groups were similar to those found in the two other extensive surveillance efforts (King George Island and East Antarctica), highlighting the need to continue and improve surveillance across the region. For invertebrates, further control of the supply chain prior to embarkation of cargo and personnel may be the most effective management option to prevent further transport of non-indigenous species to the Antarctic.


Aircraft Antarctica Detection Food Invertebrates Interception Surveillance 



Carol Muir, Senior Technician Entomology, Plant Health and Environment Laboratory at the Ministry of Primary Industries in Christchurch undertook the species identifications. Melanie Newfield, Manager, Plants and Pathways Risk Assessment, Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington was instrumental in setting up invertebrate surveillance. Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on a previous version of the work. SLC and RIL were supported by Australian Antarctic Science Grant 4307.

Supplementary material

10530_2018_1722_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antarctica New ZealandChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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