Invasive Species

By: Kalaya Swindle

What Are Invasive Species ?

Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm.

Five Facts About Invasive Species

  • Estimates are that the United States spends $138 billion per year in total economic damages and associated control costs.
  • Nationwide, 70 million acres of public and private lands are at serious risk from 26 different insects and diseases, most of which are nonnative invasives.
  • Each year, invasives advance by 1.7 million acres per year across the land in all directions, an area that is two-thirds bigger than the state of Delaware.
  • Invasive plants are found on 133 million acres (as big as California and New York combined), in federal, state, and private ownerships.
  • Many of these invasive species have been introduced into new environments by human activities.

Ways To Stop Invasive Species

Once invasive species become established and spread, it can be extraordinarily difficult and costly to control or eradicate them. As a result, the best approaches for dealing with the invasive species is to:

  • Create effective mechanisms to prevent their introduction in the first place,
  • Create monitoring systems for detecting new infestations,
  • Move rapidly to eradicate newly detected invaders.