Invasions from alien species such as Japanese Knotweed and grey squirrels threaten the economies and livelihoods of residents of some of the world’s poorest nations, new University of Exeter research shows.
The damage caused by non-native species like the Harlequin ladybird and mink threaten global biodiversity and cost global economies US$1.4 trillion annually. They can transmit disease, choke river systems and wells, prevent cattle being able to graze and out-compete or eat native species.
This is often seen as a “first world” problem. Experts have now shown these invasions are also threatening the last remaining biodiversity strongholds in the world’s most fragile economies. One sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing nations and areas with diverse species of birds and plants.
A new study says better action is needed to protect people and the environment in areas with high levels of poverty.
Read more: The University of Exeter from EurekAlert
Invasive species and what you can do: Act Now