green and black bug on green leaf
Photo by Egor Kamelev on

Invasive species that wreck crops, ravage forests, spread disease and upend ecosystems are spreading ever faster across the globe, and humanity has not been able to stem the tide, a major scientific assessment said Monday.

The failure is costing well over $400 billion dollars a year in damages and lost income, and that is likely a "gross underestimation," according to the intergovernmental science advisory panel for the UN Convention on Biodiversity (IPBES).

The IPBES report defines invasive species as species that are non-native, cause harm and have relocated due to human activity.

From water hyacinth choking Lake Victoria in East Africa, to rats and brown snakes wiping out bird species in the Pacific, to mosquitoes exposing new regions to Zika, yellow fever, dengue and other diseases, the report catalogued more than 37,000 so-called alien species that have taken root far from their places of origin.

Register to read the full article.

Register for free for:

  • Access to ten free articles per month
  • Our weekly roundup of top stories
  • Monthly newsletters on topics of your choice

Subscribe for:

  • Unlimited article access each month
  • Crosswords and puzzles on Canadian holidays
  • Full newsletter access