Scientists Create New Map of Invasive Species

In a recent study, a group of international researchers have outlined where invasive species around the world are abundant. Interestingly, the study has shown that different invader species can be found in abundant number on island and coastal regions across different continents.

The study was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. In the paper, researchers outlined their approach to create the map. In order find out the geographical patterns, researchers mapped distribution of different types of invasive species and later, found out that 186 islands and 423 mainland regions contain higher concentration of invasive species.

Talking about the research, ecologist Franz Essl wrote, “Both regions are remote islands that used to be very isolated, lacking some groups of organisms altogether — such as mammals, for instance. Today, both regions are economically highly developed countries that maintain intense trade relationships. These have a huge impact on the introduction and naturalization of non-indigenous species.”

Interestingly, the research suggested that the number of invasive species are high in the areas with dense population which signals that the humans are responsible for introducing different species. Talking about the findings, Dietmar Moser commented, “These factors increase the likelihood of humans introducing many new species to an area. This almost invariably results in the destruction of natural habitats, which in turn allows non-indigenous species to spread. Islands and coastal regions seem to be particularly vulnerable because they occupy leading roles in global overseas trade.”

In order to protect different species though, researchers have said that strict conservation programs and trade regulations should be introduced. 

Featured Image: US National Park Service

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