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A Talk on the Wild Side.

The Cost of Invasive Species: 4 Numbers you Need to Know

Through the Lacey Act, our job is to limit the import and transfer of any “injurious” species.  The Act helps us prevent the tremendous damage that invasive species can sometimes cause. 

As you’re probably already aware, some invasives can be very destructive to habitat and wildlife. Did you also know that invasives can be a tremendous economic drain as well?  Here are four numbers you need to know about the cost of invasive species:

13 billion: As a nation, we lose this staggering number in crops to invasive insects like the vine mealy bug (below) every year.

Photo of a Vine Mealy bug courtesy of the Center for Invasive Species Research. For a full photo set head here.

200 million: That's how much nonnative species borne in the ballast of hulls of ships cost the Great Lakes region annually. 

10.7 billion: Between 2009 and 2019, this is the number an invasive insect called the emerald ash borer, is projected to cost 25 states. That’s billion with a b. 

19 billion: Between consuming stored grains and destroying property, black and norway rats do this much damage every year. 

With just these four, invasives cause more than $40 Billion in annual damage, a tremendous drain on our economic resources.

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