Alien Mammals of Europe

  • Piero Genovesi
  • Sven Bacher
  • Manuel Kobelt
  • Michel Pascal
  • Riccardo Scalera
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 3)

Mammals are large, charismatic animals that have a mineralised skeleton that may form long lasting fossils. For these reasons, the level of knowledge on this class, together with other vertebrates, is much higher than for any other animal group. Therefore, the available information on introduction patterns, trends of invasions, and detrimental impacts caused to the environment and to human well-being are more detailed than for other groups covered in the DAISIE project.

History of mammal invasions is very long, as anthropogenic introductions of mammals started at least since the beginning of the Neolithic period. Ancient introductions involved wild species commensal of humans (i.e., black rat Rattus rattus and house mouse Mus musculus), anthropophilous (i.e., lesser white-toothed shrew Crocidura suaveolens and wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus) and domestic species (i.e. species domesticated in the Middle East and gone feral, like the Corsican mou-flon Ovis aries). Data on alien mammals have been collected from available globalreviews (Long 2003; Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999; Lever 1985), national inventories (Austria: Englisch 2002; Denmark: Baagøe and Jensen 2007; France: Pascal et al. 2006; Germany: Geiter et al. 2002; Ireland: Stokes et al. 2006; Italy: Andreotti et al. 2001; Scalera 2001; Liechtenstein: Broggi 2006; Scandinavian countries: Weidema 2000; Spain: Nogales et al. 2006; Palomo and Gisbert 2002; Switzerland: Wittenberg 2006; the UK: Battersby and Tracking Mammals Partnership 2005; Weijden et al. 2005). Databases available on the internet were also used as a source of information (i.e. for Belgium, the Nordic countries, etc.). Other data have been collected through inputs of the experts of the DAISIE consortium, but also with the valuable support of many experts of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group and of the Group of Experts on Invasive Alien Species of the Council of Europe. Independent experts have verified each record, which included information on taxonomy, native range, vector and pathway of introduction, date of introduction, status of the species, basic information on population size, distribution and impacts.

Based on the DAISIE database, in the present chapter we present an overview of the main patterns of mammal invasions in Europe, and analyse the main environmental, social and economic correlates to the arrival and successful establishment.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piero Genovesi
    • 1
  • Sven Bacher
    • 2
  • Manuel Kobelt
    • 3
  • Michel Pascal
    • 4
  • Riccardo Scalera
    • 5
  1. 1.Chair European Section IUCN SSC ISSGINFS (National Wildlife InstituteOzzano Emilia BOItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Ecology & Evolution UnitUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  3. 3.Community Ecology, Zoological InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueUR SCRIBE, 16A allée Henri Fabre, Campus de BeaulieuRennes CedexFrance
  5. 5.Via Torcegno 49 V1 A2RomeItaly

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