Risk assessments are tools designed to help minimize introducions of invasive alien species to an area or country. It is based on quantitative estimates of the likelihood and magnitude of impacts to natural areas and to biodiversity. Biological and ecological information, the geographic origin of species and history of invasion elsewhere are important criteria used to predict invasive potential. Risk assessments also consider potential impacts and management feasibility (Groves, R. H.; Panetta, F. D.; Virtue, J. G., 2001).

Risk assessment protocols are questionnaires intended to identify invasive potential traits of alien species. Different protocols are available globally, with Australia and New Zealand leading the way as best references for plants and terrestrial vertebrates, and the UK for fishes. The Horus Institute and collaborators ajusted these protocols considering Latin American conditions. The protocols may be adjusted to more specific geographic or climatic conditions as needed. The protocol for plant risk assessment used in the assessments made available through this website were adjusted for the climate types occurring in Brazil.

Risk assessments are mainly intended for evaluating requests of species introductions to a country, state or area. Assessing potential invasiveness and damage to other species may also help establish priorities in control or prevention initiatives.

The results of risk assessments applied to alien species in Brazil have been included in the National Invasive Alien Species Database (Management tab). The protocols with questions and answers are available below by group of species.


Plants – I3N / Universidad Nacional del Sur – Argentina / Instituto Hórus
(this protocol is no longer in use)

Terrestrial vertebrates


If you wish to use the protocols, please contact us.