Biological invasions are as costly as natural hazards

Anna J. Turbelin, Ross N. Cuthbert, Franz Essl, Phillip J. Haubrock, Anthony Ricciardi, Franck Courchamp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Natural hazards — such as storms, floods, and wildfires — can be disastrous phenomena and so can biological invasions, for which impacts are often irrevocable and insidious. Yet, biological invasion awareness remains low compared to natural hazards, and investments to manage invasions remain vastly underfunded and delayed. Here, we quantified biological invasion costs relative to natural hazards, to raise awareness and political leverage. Analysing biological invasions and natural hazards damage cost data over 1980–2019, economic losses from biological invasions were of similar magnitude to natural hazards (e.g., $1,208.0 bn against $1,913.6 bn for storms and $1,139.4 bn for earthquakes). Alarmingly, invasion costs increased faster than natural hazards over time. Similar biological invasions impact magnitudes to natural hazards and faster cost growth rates urge commensurate recognition, coordination and action towards invasions in policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-150
JournalPerspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2023

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