Notes from Break-Out Groups at the Invasive Species Plenary





Facilitator:  Laura Arriaga, CONABIO



Brenda Morehouse, CWS

John Randall, The Nature Conservancy

Kheryn Klubnikin, USDA Forest Service, Research & Development

Jeff Flocken, USFWS

Karen Anderson, USFWS

Mélida Tajbakhsh, USFWS

Carroll Muffett, Defenders of Wildlife




  • Influence high level political will
  • Bring the issue of the cactus moth to the USDA by the Trilateral Committee
  • Identify and document case studies of species on common concern on a bilateral or trilateral basis: Mediterranean fruit fly (Can-USA), carps (USA-Canada), West Nile Virus (USA to Mexico and Canada), emerald ash borer (USA-Canada).
  •  Harmonization of “black lists” in the three countries.
  • Develop or agree upon having common positions in the International Initiatives (i.e. CBD) concerning the introduction of extracontinental species (efficient transport infrastructure)
  • Explore a double customs system.
  • Restrictions in trade activities
  • Broaden and build on existing partnerships with other agencies e.g. CFIA, USDA, Customs, USGS, SAGARPA.
  • Analyses of international and domestic regulatory and non-binding frameworks and how they relate to invasive species (e.g. gaps to fill)



  • Sharing risk assessments among countries and agencies
  • Economic evaluation on where a small amount of budget could result in an  efficient strategy for the 3 countries
  • Identify and document case studies of species on common concern on a bilateral or trilateral basis: Mediterranean fruit fly (Can-USA), carps (USA-Canada), West Nile Virus (USA to Mexico and Canada)
  • Research and monitoring on key vectors.
  • Is restoration an effective tool to bring back native species/systems and to help erase pathways for invasives?
  • Training programs for border crossing and rapid response to potential invasions (new threats disease, species or vectors).



  • Communication of economic impacts
  • Share information about established vectors and control successes and challenges (e.g. Mexico is considering expanding game farming --- can learn from US mistakes) with chronic wasting disease.
  • Need  to educate users on the threats of using alien species
  • Identify and document case studies of species on common concern on a bilateral or trilateral basis: Mediterranean fruit fly (Can-USA), carps (USA-Canada), West Nile Virus (USA to Mexico and Canada)
  • Address cultural aspects (Asian communities) related to the introduction of alien species.
  • Training programs for border crossing and rapid response to potential invasions (new threats disease, species or vectors).





Key Messages regarding the Trilateral:


Workshop was very useful.  Agreed that the workshop prior to 3 day Trilateral would be useful, which would allow Invasive Specialists  to then participate in other Tables’ discussions.  Recognition that the “workshop” could  also address other cross-cutting issues such as wildlife disease, pollinators.


Do invasive experts know where the information is located or housed??  Þ Proposal:  Use Trilateral website to provide international/national/local links from the three countries to information sources


Question:  Does the CEC only have an aquatic invasives database?


            Opportunity: Allows for a North American Strategy discussion forum


·       Gaps - do not have a good understanding of our own information needs (e.g., Canada)  The gaps can be categorized as geographic, taxonomic and thematic (such as pathways, control)


            The group also decided that the each country should adopt and continue to develop the I3N standards, in collaboration with IABIN




Each country must use the information we curerntly have to raise awareness of the Invasives issue among:  Public at large, policy makers


An example cited was the Canadian Wildlife federation and the information packages that thjey sent to all schools in Canada.  The package was released during National wildlife week (week of April 12).  This year the information package was focused on Invasive Alien Species.


·       Role of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation.


            There was an agreement that the CEC does work on trade and the environment.  Suggestions were made to expand their role and request them to post more information sources on this subject on their site (provide links from


            Discussion also  focused on the need for linkages to be made on this subject about upcoming conferences, workshops, etc.


·       Role of



discussion focused on the need to start using the Trilateral website more effectively, while it was recognized that in addition to it’s use, the site should link to other invasive sites, such as Biosis, and





            Lack of communication between thematic groups (i.e., aquatic folks not meeting/sharing information with “weed” folks


            It was agreed that partial problem lies with the lack of adopted metadata standards (success with aquatics in the USA), and interoperability


            There is even a lack of relevant contact within each country that people from the Trilat can access





The outcome can be categorized by the following:


Policy and regulation:  Use of the I3N model


Research and technology:  Communications and outreach, role of the CEC,


Outreach and communications:  Use of the I3N model; use of site for the exchange of information







*points in brackets are facilitator’s clarifications




Increase cooperation between policy/program officials and practitioners/stakeholders within the Trilateral

            -     Need to link national and regional planning with local cooperative initiatives

            -     Better communication on sources of funding and technical assistance for local control action

-          Increase coordination with regional and international organizations in supporting responses to invasive species

in North America (e.g., CEC, CBD, NAPPO, Ramsar) 


Encourage establishment and support of cross-border invasive species management areas


Establish a Trilateral Table for Invasive Alien Species

-          Broad participation of resource management agencies and stakeholders  (e.g., other DOI bureaus. FS, State and

 Provincial agencies, Tribal governments)

-          Identify opportunities and priorities for cooperation in response to invasive species [e.g., need for species-based or site-based strategy to particular species]

            -    Standing or ad-hoc work groups on particular species and issues

            -    New table may refer or coordinate with existing tables on specific invasive species initiatives

-          Invasive species is too complex and broad to be adequately covered by existing tables (invasive species is

rapidly becoming a focus of concern, planning, and action in the Trilateral agencies and merits a separate table

to help identify priorities and opportunities for cooperation – including issues not readily addressed by other tables [e.g., priorities for early warning/rapid response, harmonization of monitoring, assessment, and response methods]

            -     Existing tables lack expertise needed to address many IAS issues

-          Facilitate policy/program support (through Executive Table) for specific initiatives

-          Raise trilateral visibility of  invasive species problem and  issues of priority concern  





Increase cross-border sharing of information on control methods


Increase technical assistance in building capacity to use innovative control methods


Improve access of managers to tools for prioritizing species and assessing innovative methods for cost-effective responses on a landscape bases  (e.g., molecular, genetic, ecological methods in IPM) 


Enhance coordination of development of biological control agents and methods for determining priorities in their use




Expand public education on invasive species of priority concern (e.g., Lehman’s lovegrass, buffelgrass)

            -    compilation of facts and quotations on impacts of invasive species

-          case studies of success and failures in cooperative responses to invasive species

-          acceptable alternatives to the use of invasive species (e.g., for range improvement)

-    importance of changing attitudes and behaviors that contribute to introduction and spread of IAS


Develop outreach on emerging issues and species  

-          alerts and highlights of new invasive species (e.g., Cactus moth) [based on early warning/reporting of new occurrences/monitoring]


Increase training for specialists, policy makers, resource users (e.g., ranchers) and the public on transborder invasive

 species issues






            No. rating sheets submitted: 10

                                                                                                              Trilateral Mechanism

                                                               Importance           Separate Table   Existing Table   Collaboration   No Role   No Vote


Prevention (10)                                    2.9                         9                             1                             0                             0              0


Control/Management – Aquatic (9)      2.7                     8                             0                             1                             0              1


Control/Management–Terrestrial (10) 2.8                      9                             0                             1                             0              0


Control/Management – Wild.Dis. (9)   2.7                     7                             1                             1                             0              1


Information (9)                                      2.7                        6                             3                             0                             0              1







Sharing data and information – especially a distributed clearinghouse

  • Species
  • Regulations, laws and policies
  • Identify all agencies involved in invasive species management


Identify pathways for aquatic invasive species

  • Evaluate aquaculture as a pathway
    • Species spread
    • Pathogens
    • Genetic issues


Identify shared waters at high risk of invasion


Coordinate control methods and priorities

  • With state/local/regional entities
  • Establish rapid response strategies
    • Focus on specific geographic areas
  • Share experiences to eradicate or control aquatic invasive species
    • Training opportunities
    • Biocontrol
    • Other integrated management methods
  • Develop effective and streamlined compliance for control



  • For policy makers
  • For resource managers


Develop  predictive capabilities

  • Before species are esetablished
  • North American approach
  • Common approach to risk assessments


Identify and coordinate research needs

  • Life history of invasive species
  • Develop new or improve existing control methods for aquatic invasive species
  • Identify key research institutes and universities


Funding – increase funding to address invasive species issues

  • Develop economic incentives to change behavior to prevent invasives
    • Encourage use of native species for aquaculture
      • Provide technical assistance
      • Tax breaks or tax increases depending on use of native or non-natives
  • Look at innovative funding ideas for invasive species

Evaluate socio economic values of invasive species


Assess economic impacts of invasive species


Enhance enforcement to prevent and control invasive species                                          


Identify gaps in legal frameworks

  • Regulations
  • Enforcement


Establish a Trilateral entity to address invasive species

  • Not necessarily a new table – could use existing tables or forums (CEC)







      Invasive wildlife pathogens – Non-native pathogens that can spread to other countries or regions

   Exotic Newcastle Dz, West Nile Virus, Lyme, Sylvatic plague, MCF, EHD/Bluetongue, heartwater, Foot and Mouth Dz


Priorities in addressing wildlife disease

      Public education

      Harmonization of trade/importation/quarantine regulations

      Sharing protocols/translation of documents

      Training of wildlife biologists/government officials/managers/public health officials

      Identifying key pathways and emerging pathogens –e.g., pet trade

      Potential conflict between wildlife managers and authorities

      Information-sharing mechanisms

      Enhancement of infrastructure for wildlife dz in Mexico and links to U.S. and Can. Wildlife diseases organizations


Recommendations to Trilateral Committee

      Add a working table for wildlife diseases

   Provide opportunities to share diagnostic protocols

   Provide opportunities for training and exchanges

   Enhance collaborative investigations on movement of animals