Invasive Species

It is a species introduced by humans – either intentionally or accidentally – outside its natural past or present distribution It is these species that are termed ‘Invasive alien species’ (IAS). However, not all alien species have negative impacts.


  • Driver of biodiversity loss
  • Leads to changes in structure & composition of ecosystems leading to detrimental impact on ecosystem services and humans.

Common Invasive Species of India

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Flagship speciesIndicator speciesKeystone species
Species chosen to represent an environmental cause, such as an ecosystem in need of conservation.Species whose presence indicates, presence of a set of other species and health of ecosystem.It is a species whose addition or loss to an ecosystem will lead to major changes in the ecosystem.
Chosen species could be either vulnerable/ attractive/ distinct.Ex. A species might indicate presence of environmental pollution or arrival of monsoon etc.As certain species are considered more important in determining the presence of other species.
Ex.: Indian Tiger, African Elephant, Giant Panda of China, etc.Ex.: Lichens (air quality), most amphibians, fishes, etc.Ex.: Top predator tiger, lion, crocodile etc. Their removal will distort existing food chains.
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