Conservation Tool

Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT)

The Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) is the IUCN global standard for measuring the severity of environmental impacts caused by animals, fungi and plants living outside their natural range. This tool alerts scientists, conservation practitioners and policy makers to the potential consequences of alien species, guides the development of prevention and mitigation measures, and assists in the prioritisation of management actions.

Invasive alien species are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and species extinctions, and one of the most serious and rapidly growing threats to food, health and livelihood security. EICAT is a key tool for prioritising alien species that could lead to the most harmful environmental impacts, helping to make the best use of resources to prevent or limit their negative consequences.

The EICAT Categories and Criteria provide a simple, objective and transparent method to classify alien species into one of eight categories, according to the severity of their environmental impact. This is determined by the extent to which native species are affected and whether the impact is reversible.

EICAT can be applied at the national, regional and global levels. All global EICAT assessments will be published on IUCN’s Global Invasive Species Database.

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