Invasive Species in China


China is the world's third largest country and one of the richest in terms of biodiversity. Its vast territory stretches 5,200 km from east to west. It spans 50 degrees of latitude, and covers five climatic zones: cold-temperate, temperate, warm-temperate, subtropical, and tropical. A wide range of habitats and environmental conditions makes China especially vulnerable to the establishment of invasive species of foreign origin. Potential invasive alien species from most areas of the world may find suitable habitat somewhere in China.


Criteria to define an invasive alien species:

Partial list of invasive species in China


[Mammals] [Birds] [Fishes] [Crustaceans] [Mollusks]

[Insects] [Nematodes] [Fungi] [Wildlife Diseases] [Plants]

Criteria to define an invasive alien species:

has been introduced into an area where it is not native from its natural range by either intentional or unintentional human activity;

has established a self-reproducing population in a local natural or artificial ecosystems; and

has caused obvious changes in a natural ecosystem or landscape, or has caused damages to a local natural or artificial ecosystem.

We also consider alien species in China to include species introduced outside their native ranges within China as well as non-native species introduced from other countries.

People are removing water hyacinth covering Dianchi Lake, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China (Ph: Xie Yan)


Partial list of invasive species in China:



Nutria (Myocastor coypus)

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)

Brown or Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Sladen¨s Rat (Rattus tanezumi)



Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacacatua sulpurea)

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trihoglossus haematotus)

Canada Goose (Anser canadensis)



Bighead (Aristichthys nobilis)

Gobies (Gobiidae) and Topmouth Gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)

Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and Livebearers (Poeciliidae)



Crayfish (Procambius clarkii)



Amazonian Snail (Ampullaria gigas)

Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)



Termites (Termitidae)

Pine Scale (Hemiberlesia pitysophila)

Fall Webworm, American White Moth (Hyphantria cunea)

Banana Moth (Opogona sacchari)

Loblolly Pine Mealybug (Oracella acuta)

Vegetable Leaf Miner (Liriomyza sativae)

American Rice Water Weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus)

American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Woolly Apple Aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum)

Grape Root Louse (Phylloxera vitifolii)


North American Pinewood Nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus)



Black Spot (Ceratocystis fimbriata)


Wildlife Diseases:

Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus in trout (IPNV)



Mexican Tea (Chenopodium ambrosioides)

Alligator Weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)

Spingflower Alternanthera (Alternanthera pungens)

Amaranth (Amaranthu spp.)

Cacti (Cactaceae)

Golden Dewdrop (Duranta repens)

Love Apple (Solanum aculeatissimum)

Plantaiga (Plantago spp.)

Venus¨ Looking-glass (Triodanis)

Tropic Ageratum (Ageratumm conyzoides)

Ragweed (Ambrosia spp.)

Horseweed (Conyza spp.)

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

Crofton Weed (Eupatorium adenophorum)

South American Climber (Mikania micrantha)

Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissma)

Common Cordgrass (Spartina anglica)

Darnel Ryegrass (Lolium temulentum)

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)


Beautiful water hyacinth