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Cooperation urged on invasives

AIBS meeting participants say US Department of Homeland Security could coordinate efforts

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)

WASHINGTON, DC—Policymakers are not doing nearly enough to curb the negative ecological and economic consequences of invasive species, biologists said at a meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences held here last week. In particular, said some speakers, more should be done to merge invasive species management with efforts to ensure homeland security and curb emerging infectious diseases.

Invasive species are a major cause of extinctions, second only to habitat destruction, and they exact a cost of approximately $120 billion per year in the United States alone, according to Lori Williams, executive director of the National Invasive Species Council (NISC), a cross-agency council formed in 1999 by executive order from President Clinton. Several speakers at "Invasive Species: A Search for Solutions" emphasized, however, that recent scientific advances in modeling and simulation can facilitate the prediction of damaging infestation to inform future regulations.

Speakers suggested more cooperation with the Department...

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