21 Mar 2011

Invasives species expert concerned tsunami may have spread pests in Pacific

5:05 pm on 21 March 2011

An invasive species expert says there're concerns that the tsunami generated by the earthquake off Japan could have introduced pests to nearby small island states in the northern Pacific.

The manager of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group in Auckland, Shyama Pagad, says that coastal vegetation, sea grass beds and other fauna are likely to have suffered extensive damage.

She says they are encouraging thorough assessments on coasts in order to prevent any invasive species of flora or fauna taking root.

"The disturbance caused could allow gaps for invasive species to grow because invasive species are more aggressive than native species and they are able to adapt to a wider range of habitats and climates and grow quicker than native species, which can be slow to recover."

IUCN Invasive Species's Shyama Pagad.