INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     5th September 2023        

Context: In the most extensive study on invasive species carried out till date, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in its new publication – the “Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control’’ – has found that there are 37,000 alien species, including plants and animals.

Key Points

  • Invasive alien species are one of the five major direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, alongside land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, and pollution.
  • Number of alien species has been rising continuously for centuries in all regions..
  • The water hyacinth is the world’s most widespread invasive alien species on land. Lantana, a flowering shrub, and the black rat are the second and third most widespread globally.
  • he brown rat and the house mouse are also widespread invasive alien species.
  • Invasive alien species like Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegyptii spread diseases such as malaria, Zika and West Nile Fever, while others also have an impact on livelihood.

    Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): It is an independent intergovernmental body established to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, working in a similar way to the IPCC, which is the UN’s climate science body

    • It proposed: A new term for ecosystem services, calling them “Nature’s Contributions to People” (NCPs).
    • Formation: 2012.
    • Headquarter: Bonn, Germany.

    Invasive/Alien Species: Organisms that are not native to a specific area and pose a threat to native species.

    • They have the potential to lead to the extinction of indigenous plants and animals, diminish biodiversity, engage in resource competition with native organisms, and modify habitats.

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