Invasive Alien Species: A Global Biodiversity Threat

  Sep 09, 2023

Invasive Alien Species: A Global Threat to Biodiversity and Beyond

What are invasive alien species?

Invasive alien species are non-native organisms that have been introduced to new environments either through global trade, travel, or climate change. These species often outcompete native species, leading to biodiversity loss, disruptions in food supply chains, and potential public health risks.

How do invasive alien species impact biodiversity?

Invasive alien species pose a severe threat to local biodiversity by displacing native species. They contribute to the majority of plant and animal extinctions worldwide, with over 37,000 alien species introduced through human activity causing harm to local ecosystems.

What economic costs are associated with invasive species?

Invasive alien species impose an annual global economic cost of more than $423 billion as of 2019. This cost includes expenses related to managing the negative impacts of these species on ecosystems, agriculture, and public health.

What are some examples of the impacts caused by invasive species?

Instances of invasive species disrupting ecosystems include European shore crabs damaging shellfish beds and Caribbean false mussels displacing clams and oysters. Invasive mosquito species, spreading due to climate change, have brought diseases like malaria, Zika, and West Nile Fever to new areas.

How can countries address this threat?

Countries need to strengthen border biosecurity, enforce strict import controls, and implement early detection systems to prevent the introduction of invasive species. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, aiming to reduce the invasion of aggressive alien species by 50% by 2030, is a crucial policy direction to mitigate this threat.

Who is most at risk from invasive species?

Indigenous communities and those dependent on nature for their livelihoods are most vulnerable to the impacts of invasive alien species. The loss of native species can disrupt traditional practices and threaten local ecosystems.

What is the role of international efforts?

Global cooperation is essential in combating invasive species. The Kunming-Montreal Framework and collaborative efforts are crucial in curbing the spread of invasive alien species and preserving biodiversity for future generations.
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