Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). . IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fi sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide signifi cant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplifi ed by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.
The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology". I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.
Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are:
1. Algar Suckermouth Catfish (Hypotomus plecotomus)
The species originated from South America. Algae sucker mouth catfish or armored catfish or the Municipal Catfish or locally as 'Ikan Bandaraya" as it is popularly known has been found in the Klang-Gombak tributaries in Selangor. They are herbivorous that feeds on detritus and algae (Makan lumut pada dinding aquarium dan dasar akuarium). Feeding is done by plowing along the substrate and using the thick-lip toothy mouth to scrape planting materials (filamentous algae, diatoms) from hard surfaces or to suck up fine sediments. Specimens in aquaria may live more than 10 years. Sucker mouth catchfish are capable of breathing air and extrating oxygen through the gut lining.
2. Redclaw freshwater Crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus)
Red claw is a native to Tropical Queensland and the Notherm Teritory of Australia. It was introduced in Malaysia in 1990 in Kluang, Johor as food fish and ornamental purposes. Red claws has been shown to be susceptible to many diseases and parasites. In Europe and the America's, a devastating fungal disease 'crayfish plague' has caused the mortality in both cultured and wild fresh water crayfish stocks.
3. Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris)
The Peacock Bass, or Peacock Cichlid, is a native of South America. It has been introduced deliberately by anglers as a popular game fish into several small ponds and in mining pools at Batu Gajah and Air Kuning in Perak. It has been reported to be seen in Lake Chenderoh among the fishing enthusiast. This lake is interconnected to Lake Air Ganda, Bersia and Temenggor. This species is very aggressive, a fast breeder and preys on smaller native fishes. It has been identified as a potential cause for ecological imbalance in its adapted habitats.
4. Flower Horn (Cichlasoma spp.)
Flower horn or Luo Han or Lump Head Cichlid is a very aggressive and hardy fish. It has been introduced into Malaysia from Taiwan in early 1990s. It can survive under harsh conditions even in drains. It breeds easily and together with its voracious appetite, has the potential to wreak the ecosystem. High price flower horn were kept in aquarium tank while the low quality fish were disposed at nearest pond or waterway causing more damage to the ecosystem. Continue to read articles in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4. Thanks.
MAHA International Exibition Complexs,
MAEPS< Serdang, Selangor,
(15 Syawal 1435H)