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Panel on Alien Organisms and trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Assessment of risks to Norwegian biodiversity from the import and keeping of terrestrial arachnids and insects
Assessment of risks to Norwegian biodiversity from the import and keeping of terrestrial arachnids and insects
Photo: iStock Photo
Two mantid species are likely to be able to establish viable populations in Norway in a 50 years perspective. They are assessed of having a moderate risk of causing negative impacts on Norwegian biodiversity and ecosystems.

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) was asked by the Norwegian Environment Agency to undertake an assessment of the risks of negative impacts on biodiversity in Norway stemming from the import of terrestrial scorpions, tarantulas, mantids and stick insects for private use.

 

The committee was asked to assess:

  • species survivability under Norwegian conditions
  • possible impacts of private import on ecosystems and other species
  • possible risks arising from the introduction of accompanying organisms such as pathogens and parasites
  • the likelihood of escape or release of the imported organisms and precautionary measures that could prevent this from happening

6600 species

The working group screened 6600 species for establishment potential under Norwegian climatic conditions. 6488 species were deemed very unlikely to establish populations and were not assessed further. Sixty-one species were classified as “lack of information”.

50 species were assessed as having potential for establishing populations in Norway in a 50 years perspective: 20 species of tarantulas, 10 species of mantids and 20 species of phasmids (but no scorpions).

Moderate risk of negative impacts

Only two mantid species, Mantis religiosa and Orthodera novaezealandiae, are assessed as having a moderate risk of causing negative impacts on Norwegian biodiversity and ecosystems. If they can enter the country, these species are likely to be able to establish viable populations in Norway in a 50 year perspective.

VKMs panel on Alien organisms and Trade in endangered species (CITES) was responsible for the risk assessment. The report was publisehed 29.06.2016.