The Life MICA project: managing aquatic invasive species across borders

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Aquatic invasive species can spread rapidly within and across regions connected by water courses. This is especially true for muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
and coypu (Myocastor coypus), two semi-aquatic rodents that have long been present and managed in Western Europe. To facilitate cross-border management of these invasive species, Flanders, the Netherlands and Germany work together in the MICA project (Management of Invasive Coypu and
muskrat in Europe), co-funded by the Life+ programme of the European Union. The project aims to reduce coypu and muskrat populations to a manageable size in order to prevent damage to waterways and biodiversity.
Life MICA develops and tests several innovative techniques such as the use of eDNA and wildlife camera traps for monitoring and detection.
Furthermore, to facilitate the flow of information across (inter)national administrative boundaries, data on the occurrence and management of the
species from the three regions were standardized and brought together in an open, interactive online dashboard.
The different project partners active in the field all had some forms of registration of their management actions and some already used smartphone
applications with interactive dashboards within their own organizations. However, there was no way for one partner to be informed on the captures of
a neighboring region by other partners.
Here, we present the different steps that were needed to standardize and unlock the data from these different platforms. This involved mobilizing the
data from different partners and publishing them openly onto the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) through a semi-automated process,
and pushing those onto a freely available dynamic dashboard. This application is envisaged to facilitate the information flow between managers across
borders. The applied dataflows can be applied to other invasive alien species management programs that require international collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 19-Apr-2022

Thematic List 2020

  • Wildlife management
  • Invasive species

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology
  • B005-zoology

Taxonomic list

  • rodents (Rodentia)

Free keywords

  • muskrat
  • coypu


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