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WIONIS : the Western Indian Ocean Network on Invasive Species

Written by Alan Tye Modified on the

WIONIS is an information exchange network for anyone interested in any aspect of invasive species and their management in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. The objective of WIONIS is to promote the effective prevention and management of biological invasions in the WIO region. WIONIS does this by facilitating the exchange of data, news, alerts, advice, requests and other information, by promoting collaboration, and by establishing links between those in need of a resource (information, expertise, technical assistance, training, funding, staff, volunteers...) and those who can provide it.

WIONIS was born at a workshop on invasive species in Mayotte, in January 2012. The workshop participants, who included invasive species practitioners from most of the WIO countries and territories, noted the lack of coordination mechanisms, insufficient exchange, and the need for shared information and action in the region, and called for the development and implementation of a regional cooperation network to facilitate the sharing of information and experience, and promote the prevention and management of biological invasions. WIONIS is the result.

Since 2012, IUCN's Inva'Ziles Project has developed the network, this website, and an email distribution list service. The website and email list are the main operating mechanisms for the WIONIS. This website is hosted by CIRAD and is currently managed by the Inva'Ziles Project Coordinator, while the email list is managed by a group of WIONIS members and is hosted at the University of Auckland by the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).

This web site, still under development, aims to offer a means of storing and making available information, either as open access or restricted to WIONIS members. There is currently space for resources (publications and others, searchable) and news items. Other pages could be developed, including a forum to exchange experiences and advice, a gallery for identification aids, and information and alerts relating to introduced species in the WIO region. The website provides functionality in French and English to the maximum extent possible.

Feedback is very welcome regarding the operation of this website and the email list. If you wish to provide resources on this website, contact the coordinator. Let us know if you have ideas for other tools and functions, or if you are able to help with the administration of the website or email list.

More than 350 members, in all the island countries and territories of the WIO and many more throughout the world — a key resource for requests for assistance. Click the map to enlarge.