Networks of global bird invasion altered by regional trade ban
Wildlife trade is a major pathway for introduction of invasive species worldwide. However, how exactly wildlife trade influences invasion risk, beyond the transportation of individuals to novel areas, remains unknown. We analyze the global trade network of wild-caught birds from 1995 to 2011 as reported by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). We found that before the European Union ban on imports of wild-caught birds, declared in 2005, invasion risk was closely associated with numbers of imported birds, diversity of import sources, and degree of network centrality of importer countries. After the ban, fluxes of global bird trade declined sharply. However, new trade routes emerged, primarily toward the Nearctic, Afrotropical, and Indo-Malay regions. Although regional bans can curtail invasion risk globally, to be fully effective and prevent rerouting of trade flows, bans should be global.