You are here:  Home > Think & Act > Environment > Invasive Species
University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Invasive species

There are many threats to biodiversity, and according to David Attenborough, invasive species are probably the second biggest threat to biodiversity and the long term survival of many ecosystems.

Activity: Things to do

Do your ‘bit’ for biodiversity and help to monitor and remove invasive species from the countryside. Why not get involved with one of these projects?  

An invasive species is a non-indigenous (non-native) plant or an animal that competes with a country's native species.  They can often cause significant economic damage and even harm human health.  Most invasive species have been introduced by human actions. The non-native species becomes invasive when it establishes a breeding population and, without further human intervention, spreads widely into other areas.  The invasive species was probably not a problem in its original environment because there were natural control agents such as predators, grazers or disease.  

Activity Things to think about:  

  • What is the difference between a non-native/introduced species and an invasive species?
  • Have I in any way been responsible for the spread of invasive species?
  • Is anyone to blame for the problem?  Who is responsible?
  • Can I do anything to help reduce the impact of invasive species on the environment.
  • Should we try and eradicate all invasive species?
  • Can native species adjust or fight back?
  • Does it matter if some native species suffer or disappear?
  • Should we ban the sale of some non-native species such as the Spanish blue-bell?
  • Climate change is forcing many gardeners to plant ‘drought resistant’ flowers from the Mediterranean, is this a good idea? 

Tip: See the related BEEP pages to help you.


Next: Plant Invaders