How do they affect me?

Whether you are interested in the environment or not, the problems caused by invasive non-native species affect us all. For a start, they cost us billions of pounds - in the region of £1.7 billion every single year in Britain alone.

But invasive non-native species are not only an economic problem, they are also a well known threat to our environment.  From challenging the survival of our rarest species (see our case studies on the Red Squirrel and Water Vole) to damaging some of our most sensitive ecosystems (see our freshwater and small islands examples), the biodiversity impacts of invasive non-native species are severe and growing.  Their impact is now so significant that they are considered to be one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide - even more than pollution or climate change.

It’s not just our wildlife that suffers, invasive non-native species can also have an impact on the way we live.  Some species have a direct impact on our health (see the dangers of Giant Hogweed) while others have less apparent, but just as serious effects (see flooding and invasive non-native species).

Unlike some other serious environmental problems, such as pollution, the effect of an invasive non-native species is not a one off event.  Once a species has been introduced the problems persist and escalate as the species spreads further.  If we don't act, the problem of invasive non-native species will continue to escalate at an ever increasing rate, causing us to feel more of the impacts and incur more cost every year.

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