What is an Invasive Species?
The ISCC Bylaws define invasive species as “non-native organisms which cause economic or environmental harm.” The bylaws clarify that invasive species within the scope of the council do not include humans, domestic livestock or non-harmful exotic organisms.
This matches the definition established at the federal level by Executive Order 13112 in 1999, which established the National Invasive Species Council. It defines invasive species as “alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” The order clarifies that alien species are those introduced to an area, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as a result of human activity.
California Food and Agricultural Code (Section 5260.5) defines “invasive pests” as “animals, plants, insects, and plant and animal diseases, or groups of those animals, plants, insects, and plant and animal diseases, including seeds, eggs, spores, or other matter capable of propagation for which introduction into California would or likely would cause economic or environmental harm.”
Invasive species come in all shapes and sizes, and their impacts range from clogging water pipes to killing wildlife, from ruining crops to posing a human health hazard. Many organizations are involved in addressing invasive species in California. The ISCC and CISAC formed to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of these organizations.