Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point
Invasive species have a profound effect on ecosystems resulting in the displacement of native species, reduced biodiversity, and alteration of community structure and food webs. In addition to the severe and permanent damage to the habitats they invade, invasive species also may adversely impact economic development, inhibit recreational and commercial activities, decrease the aesthetic value of nature, and serve as vectors of human disease. Most invasions are linked to human activities, either deliberate or unintentional, and may include natural resource management projects as these activities often take biologists, technicians, and their equipment to many different habitats.
Planning is nothing new for biologists and natural resource managers, but applying Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) planning to natural resource work is a relatively new concept. HACCP is five-step planning process that manages the risk of moving potentially invasive species during natural resource management or research activities.
Understanding pathways and developing plans to remove non-target species and prevent biological contamination is necessary to avoid invasive species impacts. When it comes to natural resource management activities, species introductions should not be considered simply “accidental”. It is our responsibility as resource professionals to strive to do no harm. Understanding invasive species pathways and developing plans to remove hitchhiking species are necessary to prevent unintended spread.
Remember, if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!
Planning to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species
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