Invasive Species Issues
Note: this topic is archived and is no longer being updated.
Invasive species include nonnative, alien, or exotic plant pests (such as insects, weeds, or pathogens); animal and zoonotic disease pathogens, which can transmit diseases between animals and humans; or other organisms that can cause economic or environmental harm to U.S. agriculture, range, and forest systems.
USDA and other Federal and State Government agencies have programs to prevent entry and to detect, monitor, and manage invasive species that enter the United States or spread to new regions. See Integrating Invasive Species Prevention And Control Policies for a discussion of how these programs can interact.
ERS conducted and funded research to support these efforts through the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM). See the report, Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management Fiscal 2003-2011 Activities, for a listing of funded research.
Several factors bolster the need to further these efforts:
- Increased vulnerabilities from the changing structure of livestock and crop production in the United States.
- Increased likelihood of invasive species survival during transit due to faster modes of transport.
- Growing evidence of the adverse impacts of species on native ecosystems.
- Increased restrictions on traditional chemical control options.