Invasive species are increasing worldwide due to mounting global trade, and a new study has found that these cost the US economy more than $21 billion per year. Drew Kramer, a biologist at the University of South Florida and co-author of the study in the journal Science of the Total Environment: "The biggest proportion of these costs are actual damages.”
Researchers used a global database called InvaCost to assess only “observed, highly reliable costs related to invasive species,” from 1960 to 2020, according to the study. Data showed that in the 1960s, annual costs of invasive species were $2 billion. By 2010 to 2020, these costs were $21.08 billion per year.
The top three most expensive invasive species in the southeastern United States are feral pigs, citrus canker and fire ants.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com