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  • Context (DTE): The dense forests of Tamil Nadu are facing a rapid spread of invasive plant species.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines invasive species as alien plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.
  • Invasive alien species can transform the structure and species composition of ecosystems by dominating the ecosystems and repressing or excluding native species.
  • Since the 17th century, invasive alien species have contributed to nearly 40% of all animal extinctions. 

Characteristics of Invasive Species

  • Rapid reproduction and growth.
  • High dispersal ability.
  • Ability to survive on various food types.
  • Ability to adapt physiologically to new conditions.
  • Tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions.
  • Ability to alter growth form to suit current condition.

Common Invasive Species Found in India

  • Viper grass
  • Lantana camara
  • Prosopis juliflora
  • Water hyacinth
  • African catfish
  • Cotton Mealy Bug
  • Primrose Willow

International Arrangements to Control Invasive Alien Species

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Target 9 on invasive alien species.
  • Global Invasive Species Programme: It is supporting the implementation of Article 8(h) of CBD with IUCN as a partner organisation to address the global threat from Invasive Alien Species (IAS).
  • Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS or Bonn Convention): It considers IAS as a threat to migratory species.
  • Ramsar Convention: COP 7 resolution addresses threats of invasive species to wetland ecosystems.
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): States are required to protect and preserve the marine environment from intentional or unintentional introduction of alien species.
  • IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to ecosystems and their native species by increasing awareness of ways to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species.
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