Invading the Economy
If you think that the spreading of invasive species is an isolated event and does not have any larger consequences for a country then this study will shock you. According to a study titled ‘Massive economic costs of biological invasions despite widespread knowledge gaps: a dual setback for India’ by Alok Bang and other researchers, Invasive Alien Species have cost the Indian economy between at least US$ 127.3 billion to 182.6 billion from 1960–2020 making India the second most invasion-cost-bearing country after the United States. Further, the study says that 35 per cent of the cost is caused by animal species, 15 per cent by plants, one per cent by fungi and bacteria and the rest is attributed to unspecified species. What is even more shocking is that out of the 330 declared invasive species in India, these costs are incurred only by 10 species. For example, Prosopisjuliflora, an evergreen shrub, is one of the most invasive alien species causing economic and environmental harm in arid and semi-arid areas. It is spreading rapidly in the rangelands, croplands and forests and in particular is threatening pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihood.