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
|Flagship species||Indicator species||Keystone 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.|