Invasive species change the habitat for other living things and affect the economy of the region. And some of them will impact both the environment and the global economy in the future. To prevent this, scientists have prioritized the destruction of invasive species in Europe.
An invasive species is a species spread by human activity that threatens biodiversity. The initial reason for the spread of such species is the planned or unintentional introduction of organisms outside their natural habitats. In a new study, scientists identified the most dangerous species and modeled scenarios for their appearance.
An example of an invasive species, the golden apple snail, is destroying the agricultural sector in the Ebro basin. In the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, water hyacinths threaten to destroy the Guadiana River’s natural ecosystem.
One of the priority species for destruction is the common myna from the starling family. Thanks to aggressive territorial struggles and adaptability, its small colonies in Spain and Portugal have spread and displaced native bird species. Other high-priority species to be exterminated in Europe are the Moorish toad (Bufo mauritanicus), the predatory mammal, the ring-tailed coati (Nasua narica), and the red-faced bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), also a bird species.
Among the species that have not yet arrived in Europe but may appear in the future, priority has been given to rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus), freshwater crayfish that are already causing problems in the northern United States and Canada. The northern snakehead (Channa argus) and Cryptostegia grandiflora, a vine species from Madagascar, are also prioritized.
To compile this list, an international team of scientists analyzed the risks of acclimatization, spread, and impact of various invasive species. The risk rating was compared with assessing the eradication strategies for these species in terms of efficiency, cost, time, the possibility of the species returning after extinction, and other factors.
After analyzing the data, scientists have compiled a list of invasive species in Europe and those who will conquer the region in the future, according to their priority.