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Introductions of animals into the wild

Legislation: section 14 of the Wildlife Act 1990

The purpose of section 14 of the Wildlife Act 1990 is to prevent the release into the wild of certain plants and animals which may cause ecological, environmental, or socio-economic harm. To achieve this, section 14 prohibits the introduction into the wild of any animal of a kind which is not ordinarily resident in, and is not a regular visitor to, the Isle of Man in a wild state, or any species of animal or plant listed in Schedule 8 to the Act. In the main, Schedule 8 lists non-native species that are already established in the wild, but which continue to pose a conservation threat to native biodiversity and habitats, such that further releases should be regulated. It has become apparent from the responses to the August 2010 consultation on amendments to Schedule 8 to the Act that there is a need for a better understanding of the key elements that make up the offences in section 14. This document represents the views of DEFA (based on similar views of Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government) on the meaning of those elements; it does not, therefore, represent a definitive interpretation of the law. Nor is it necessarily exhaustive as regards each issue but, nevertheless, it is intended as guidance for enforcement agencies, licensing authorities and other interested parties in the Isle of Man. The document linked here provides this advice.

Update of Schedule 8

Schedule 8 has been reviewed and updated through the Wildlife Act 1990 (Amendment) Order 2011. The resulting Schedule, correct in July 2011, can be downloaded on the right. Please watch out for any future amending orders.

Further information about introduced species

The UK Non-Native Species Secretariat was developed to meet the challenge posed by invasive non-native species in Great Britain. Its website provides useful tools and information. Advice on the control of Japanese knotweed is provided elsewhere on this website.

Potentially harmful invasive New Zealand and Australian flatworms in the Isle of Man

These invasive species eat earthworms. In certain areas of the British Isles these predators have been shown to have a large impact on earthworms. In some cases the New Zealand flatworm has been shown to cause local extinction of native earthworm populations. The implications for both agriculture and wildlife in the Isle of Man are a cause for concern. Spreading from the gardens where they have been introduced, they may have an impact on the natural food chains and soil structure and could become costly to eliminate. 

Please look out for these flatworms.

Report sightings to DEFA and follow the measures recommended in the Flatworm Information Sheet. For more information about Flatworm species and distribution on the Island see the Manx Biodiversity website.

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