Find out more about invasive species

Invasive species have a range of impacts. Get a quick overview of how they affect biodiversity, the environment and people around the world, below. To hear testimonials from people affected by invasive species, visit our Stories page and for more in-depth information, browse the publications on our Research page.


Economic impacts

Invasive species affect agriculture, forestry and fishing, and can even damage buildings and infrastructure. This harms local and national economies and hinders sustainable economic growth. The economic impacts of invasive species include:

- Lower crop productivity
- Livestock harmed
- Soil quality degraded
- Value of land or property decreased
- Higher cost of controlling pests, weeds and diseases


Environmental impacts

Invasive species reduce biodiversity, which is essential for the functioning of ecosystems. Invasive species alter and degrade the environment, and have a negative effect on native plant and animal species. The environmental impacts of invasive species include:

- Reduced biodiversity
- Water shortages
- Increased frequency of wildfires and flooding
- Pollution caused by overuse of chemicals to control infestations


Social impacts

In some regions, invasive species are a major threat to the incomes and livelihoods of the people who live in the areas affected. They can also have an effect on human health. The social impacts of invasive species include:

- Incomes reduced
- Food security decreased
- Risks to human and animal health
- Recreational and social opportunities limited
- Increased social challenges