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INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

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INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • Recently, Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control has been released by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

WHAT ARE INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES ?

  • An invasive or alien species is an introduced species to an environment that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment.
  • Invasive species adversely affect habitats and bioregions, causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage.

FINDINGS OF THE REPORT:

  • A new report shows that a number of invasive alien plants and animal species have been invading at unprecedented rates causing serious biodiversity and economic threats.
  • The report recorded that there are 37,000 alien species, including more than 3,500 invasive alien species, have been recorded around the world.
  • These invasive alien species have played a key role in 60% of global plant and animal extinctions recorded.
  • The report pointed out that Water hyacinth (Pontederia crassipes) is the world’s most widespread invasive alien species on land. Lantana (Lantana camara), a flowering shrub, and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are the second and third most widespread globally.

  • According to a report, about 6% of alien plants; 22% of alien invertebrates; 14% of alien vertebrates; and 11% of alien microbes are known to be invasive, posing major risks to nature and to people.
  • More than 2,300 invasive alien species are found on lands managed, used and owned by Indigenous Peoples across all regions of Earth.
  • The report says invasive alien species threaten indigenous people’s quality of life.
  • The native species connect to their emotions and fulfil their daily needs.
  • The invasive species often leads to general feelings of despair, sadness and stress.

IMPACT OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES:

  • Due to an increase in global trade and human travel, the annual costs of invasive alien species have at least quadrupled every decade since 1970.
  • It has been estimated that the annual cost exceeds USD 423 billion.
  • In Kerala, the Caribbean false mussel (Mytilopsissallei) has wiped out native clams and oysters which are important for local fisheries.

SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS

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