Vespa velutina: an invasive species in Europe

Vespa velutina, also known as the asian hornet, is a major predator of bees and other pollinators. It was accidentally introduced in Europe in 2004 and has dramatically expanded its range since then.

The asian hornet is currently considered a major threat to our ecosystems and some economic activities. The main objective of the Interreg Atlantic-Positive project is to contribute to the preservation of pollination services through the development of integrated approaches for the control of V. velutina.

Assessment of the invasion risk of Vespa velutina in the Atlantic Area and surrounding territories

The Biogeography Lab at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) is involved in the assessment of the invasion risk of Vespa velutina in the Atlantic region and surrounding territories in Europe (WP5, actions 3-5). This requires the compilation of distribution data (i.e. presence records) in both the native and the invaded area, (ii) the development of an algorithm of the relationship between the abiotic characteristics of the territories and the distribution of the species (i.e. probability that a territory will be invaded accordint to its environmental characteristics and the ecological requirements of the species) and (iii) the application of Environmental Niche Modelling (or Species Distribution Models, SDMs) for the development of an interactive cartography of the invasion risk of Vespa velutina in Europe. This invasion risk assessment accounts for the dispersal ability of the asian hornet and hence the probability of invasion in the short term (e.g. one, two or three years timeframe).

Here you can watch a brief summary of our goals:

More information on the Interreg Atlantic-Positive project here

Details on Working Package and Actions

EAPA_800/2018 - Atlantic-POSitiVE: Conservation of Atlantic pollination services and control of the invasive species Vespa velutina

WP5: Development of tools to monitor V. velutina: environmental mapping, photographs and dynamic modelling

Action 3: Public information record on the presence/absence of the invasive species in the Atlantic Area

Action 4: Dynamic modeling service of V. velutina distribution in the Atlantic Area (phase one)

Action 5: Dynamic modeling service of V. velutina distribution in the Atlantic Area (phase two)

Partner: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC)