How are invasive alien species currently being managed?

Category: Genetic Biocontrol Other Problems

Invasive alien species are non-native animals, plants or other organisms that have been accidentally or purposely introduced in areas outside their natural range, become established in these new areas, and cause damage to native biodiversity resulting in substantial socio-economic costs. The direct impact of alien invasive species is estimated to cost the global economy billions of dollars annually.

Accidental introductions can result from international trade and transportation. The best method to control the damage done by invasive alien species is considered to be prevention through early detection and rapid response to eradicate the new species before it can become locally established. If that is not possible, control and management options include biological control using natural enemies of the invasive species, chemical control using pesticides and toxicants, and various types of mechanical or physical control to make the environment less hospitable to the new species. Educational efforts to increase awareness and use of practices aimed at preventing the spread of the invasive species also may be helpful. Nevertheless, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature warns that the rate of new introductions is increasing and their impacts on food security, health and biodiversity may be compounded by climate change.

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