An invasive species is defined as an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has negative effects on our economy, our environment, or our health. Invasive species can spread rapidly to new areas and will often out-compete native species as there are no predators or diseases to keep them under control.
Not all introduced species are invasive - many ornamental plants won’t survive outside of gardens.
Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.
Invasive species also affect the economy by reducing grazing land and crop yields as well as limiting access to recreational areas. There are significant costs to government and private landowners to repair damage done by invasive species.
Most invasive species are unintentionally introduced by human activities. That’s why each of us has a part to play in preventing and controlling their spread.
Understanding the widespread impacts of invasive species is one of the first steps to making a difference in stopping their spread.