Alien Species' Invasion Destroys The Sanctity Of Natural Habitats

First Posted: Mar 02, 2017 05:15 AM EST

Biological pollution caused in remote and relatively untouched natural habitats mostly occur due to alien species' invasion in the region. Though most people are unaware of the causes and consequences of alien species' invasion, the ecological and economic implications of it has lately attracted the attention of environmentalists across the world.

Whenever there is an accidental oil spill in the oceans, it makes headlines not just because of the loss incurred to the oil company but due to the potential adverse impacts it may have on the marine biodiversity of the region. On the other hand, most people do not even understand the risks and possible outcomes of introducing a completely alien species into a new ecological habitat.

Technological innovations have enabled people to travel to far off places in a relatively cheap price. Furthermore, the import and export of vegetables and meat products from every corner of the world have increased the chances of unintentional transport and introduction of microbes, pests, insects and plants (in the form of seeds) into these remote natural habitats.

The problem arises when these newly transferred living species compete with the indigenous biodiversity of the region. In many cases, it is found that such organisms dominate the indigenous organisms and in some extreme cases may cause their extinction, Ottawa Citizen reported.

According to Anthony Ricciardi, professor of environmental sciences at McGill University, such alien species' invasion can have dire economic consequences, especially in the fishery and agricultural sectors. He further mentioned the example of the invasion of zebra mussels and quagga mussels in the Great Lake region, which has caused the disappearance of most of the fish-eating birds (loons and mergansers) in the vicinity.

According to GMA News Online, alien species' invasion is the next big threat to the environment, after forest habitat destruction. Environmental experts propose that the absence of regulatory laws that prevent such invasions may lead to the extinction of plant and animal species inhabiting the dense forests of Southeast Asia.

The problem and its consequences are further intensified because of the ever growing climate change and global warming. Since climate change is the root cause of abrupt changes in the temperature and other environmental factors, it indirectly supports the survival of invasive species. Ricciardi believes that alien species' invasion is a matter of national biosecurity and should be dealt with extreme care and caution.

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