A decade of invertebrate colonization pressure on Scott Base in the Ross Sea region

Jana Newman, Ceisha Poirot, Rebecca Roper-Gee, Rachel I. Leihy, Steven L. Chown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the significance of invertebrate species in the alien and invasive faunas of both sub-Antarctic and, increasingly, some Antarctic locations, little information exists on the numbers and identity of species being transported to the Antarctic region. Here we provide information on a decade (2006/2007–2016/2017) of detections in the surveillance program established at Scott Base in the Ross Sea region of continental Antarctica. The program found 233 individuals in 134 detection events, belonging to at least 14 Orders and 51 Families. Among these were alien, pest and synanthropic species recorded elsewhere on the globe or in the broader Antarctic region. These included sciarid flies known to have established in station sewage-treatment plants elsewhere on the continent. Flies, spiders and moths were most commonly detected, and typically in food (60% of interceptions), and then in clothing and equipment (11%), aircraft and cargo (11%) and packaging material (11%). Detected groups were similar to those found in the two other extensive surveillance efforts (King George Island and East Antarctica), highlighting the need to continue and improve surveillance across the region. For invertebrates, further control of the supply chain prior to embarkation of cargo and personnel may be the most effective management option to prevent further transport of non-indigenous species to the Antarctic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2623-2633
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Aircraft
  • Antarctica
  • Detection
  • Food
  • Interception
  • Invertebrates
  • Surveillance

Cite this