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Invasive Alien Species biosecurity in England and Wales

Shannon, Caitriona Frances (2019) Invasive Alien Species biosecurity in England and Wales. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Biological invasions have been recognised as the one of the greatest threats, after habitat loss, to biodiversity globally. Non-native species, also called alien species (as used by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)), are species moved (intentionally or unintentionally) through human activity outside their natural distribution into novel terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Throughout history, humans have been moving and transporting species around the world, but as a result of global transport, trade and recreation, the rate of introductions is increasing. Non-native species that have negative ecological, economic or social impacts in their novel range are termed invasive alien species (IAS). Methods to prevent the introduction and spread of IAS are increasingly being recognised as the most cost effective means of reducing the impacts of IAS and are central to the CBD, EU Regulation 1143/2014 and the Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy for Great Britain. Biosecurity measures cover all activities aimed at preventing the introduction and/or spread of IAS. Since IAS result from human activities, it is necessary to look at the human dimensions of IAS management. Research on the social psychological processes that shape stakeholder opinions and behaviours can help agencies structure interventions in a way that motivates people to act more consistently. This thesis applied an interdisciplinary approach and used Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour as a framework to explore the human dimensions which are important factors to understand and manage IAS. The thesis applied a mixed methods approach including biological and social science methodologies. Individual dimensions (e.g. knowledge, risk, attitudes, experience) helped to determine individuals’ intentions to adopt preventative behaviours; and group dimensions (e.g. subjective norms, social networks) played an essential role especially in this thesis for water users. This thesis was able to confirm that awareness around IAS and communication campaigns such as Check Clean Dry is increasing. However, whilst these dimensions were useful to determine an individual’s intention to behave, stakeholders perceived a lack of behavioural control as the behaviour was difficult to actually perform without the right infrastructure in place (e.g. cleaning stations). Whilst interventions such as local information, awareness campaigns, signs, training and legislative measures have been implemented in an attempt to increase perceived behavioural control, they should be not assume behaviour change. To increase intention to behave the UK government should invest in infrastructure at high risk and highly used sites. Providing infrastructure for stakeholders will bridge the gap between intention to behave and actually changing behaviours. For example, as more individuals use wash down stations, this will increase visibility of biosecurity behaviour; seeing people use wash down stations can potentially have a positive effect in encouraging others to wash down their equipment and therefore create a social norm spread through social networks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: invasive alien species, biosecurity, social science, qualitative, quantitative, aquatic, marine
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > School of Biology (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.804547
Depositing User: Dr Caitriona Shannon
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26480

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