What are invasive species?

Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms that are not native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Invasive species out-compete native species for food and space, alter or destroy ecosystems, disrupt food sources and introduce parasites and disease. They also harm local economies by reducing crop yields and livestock forage production, decreasing property values, interfering with irrigation and water control structures and discouraging outdoor recreation. Invasive species cost Alberta and Canada billions of dollars a year.

What are their impacts?

According to the International Union of Conservation and Nature (IUCN), invasive species are the second most common threat associated with species that have gone completely extinct and are the most common threat associated with extinctions of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Compared to other threats to biodiversity, invasive species rank second only to habitat destruction.