Impact of Invasive species

Invasive species are a product of intentional and unintentional releases of non-native species into an environment where they adapt and start competing with native species. Climate change has altered habitats for many species, making environments that were non-habitable for certain species, habitable and vice versa. Climate change has the power to shift many ecosystems in favour of the current species, those that can adapt will and those that cannot, will be preyed on.

Invasive species have been a growing concern globally over the last fifteen years, as they are a major cause of biodiversity loss in the Caribbean islands. An example of this is the small Indian mongoose that was introduced to the Caribbean Island of Grenada for the purpose of eradicating the growing snake population. While they proved effective in their duty, they also started turning on other invertebrates and native species. The lionfish is another invasive species that has thrived in many oceans since its introduction via the possible aquarium release. This venomous fish devours at least 50 different fish species which can create an imbalance in the marine ecosystem.

Invasive species displace native species, alter ecosystem processes and can be harboured for disease, and interfere with crop production, which can impact trade and tourism. Approximately 42% of endangered or threatened species are at risk due to invasive species. Caribbean countries have started working on policy briefs and the necessary framework to bring awareness to IAS, in order to prevent, control, and manage any future introductions.

Read more from our sources below!

Source: – Invasive Species

USDA APHIS – Invasive Species

Policy Brief – Invasive Species Threaten Livelihood and Valuable Biodiversity in the Caribbean