Risk assessment is a developing discipline that can help to reduce the number of new species that may become invasive entering a region or country. It is based in quantitative estimations of both the likelihoods and magnitudes of the threats posed by introducing non-indigenous species, and draws upon biological and ecological information, the geographical origin of plants and their previous histories of introduction. This information is used in developing systems to generate predictions on a species´ potential invasiveness, impact and distribution in the area(s) of introduction (Groves, R. H.; Panetta, F. D.; Virtue, J. G., 2001).

Risk assessment protocols are graded sets of questions meant to identify features of species that indicate invasive potential. While different models are available, protocols for plants, terrestrial vertebrates and fishes have been adjusted to suit Latin American conditions, with a few changes to questions mainly referring to oceanic islands or other more limited geography. More adjustments can always be made to fit the systems to specific areas.

Risk assessment protocols have two main purposes: (a) to assess risk upon requests of new species introductions in countries, states or areas; (b) to assess invasive and damage potential for existing species and consider the results for priority setting in control actions or prevention work. The assessment is the same in both cases.

These protocols were applied to non-indigenous species in Brazil, and the results are available on the Brazil I3N National Invasive Species Database on this website (Management section). The protocols with questions and answers are available from this section, per group.

Plants - The Horus Institute / Proflor (IN USE)

Plants - I3N protocol / Universidad Nacional del Sur - Argentina / The Horus Institute (No longer in use)

Terrestrial vertebrates - The Horus Institute / Cinco Reinos

Fishes - The Horus Institute / Cinco Reinos

If you are interested in the risk assessment tools, please contact us.