Invasive Species and the impact on biodiversity

Invasive species have negative impacts on flora and fauna. They are introduced by humans whether accidentally or inadvertently outside their natural range. Our biodiversity is in danger because of invasive alien species. Sea turtles like the Hawksbill turtle, manatees, burrowing owls, and ocelots are in critically low numbers because invasive species like lionfish, feral hogs, Burmese pythons, and European starlings outcompete these native species and grow out of control.

The main drivers of biodiversity loss are invasive alien species and as the world becomes more interconnected, there is a risk of the introduction and spread of plant pests across borders. Plants provide 80% of the food we eat, and invasive species are a growing threat to our Agriculture, Trade, and Tourism sectors worldwide. Once plant pests are established in an area, it becomes costly to eradicate them. Our global resources are under threat from plant diseases and pests.

One of the most notorious invasive species that has negatively impacted the fishing industry is the lionfish. The Lionfish is a marine invasive species that is native to the Indian Pacific Ocean and has spread to the southeast coast of the U.S, the southeast coast of the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The monstrous appetite of the lionfish, which means herbivorous fish that feed on algae and prevent algal growth on coral reefs, is disappearing. Commercially important fish like the juvenile spiny lobster, snapper, and grouper are being hunted by this species. It is also a popular aquarium pet, but difficult to take care of due to its big appetite. A method to reduce invasive species like lionfish is to eat them. Preparing this fish involves scaling it to avoid its venomous dorsal and anal fins and fileting it. 

Read more from our sources below!


Phys.Org – Plant resources threatened by pests and diseases

United Nations News – Plant health summit aims to boost food security, safeguard human health

City News – Invasive species are causing billions of dollars in damages globally