Restoring islands through the removal of non-native invasive mammals is a powerful biodiversity conservation tool. This new study now shows that human communities on islands could benefit from restoration actions, which can potentially reduce or eliminate the burden of diseases transmitted to people by invasive species. Simply put, removal of invasive species can benefit human health in addition to ecological health.
Invasive Species Resources
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Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity; World Health Organization.
See in particular Chapter 3: Freshwater, Wetlands, Biodiversity and Human Health, section 5.1 "Aquatic Invasive Alien Species" and Chapter 7: Infectious Diseases, section 2.3.4 "Implications of Biotic Exchange (Invasive Alien Species)".
CAB International. Blog.
The damage that invasive species can cause to the environment and the economy are well known, but impacts on human health have been much less analysed. However, invasive species can cause impacts ranging from psychological effects, phobias, discomfort and nuisance to allergies, poisoning, bites, disease and even death.
USDA. Forest Service.
Invasive species have a major effect on many sectors of the U.S. economy and on the well-being of its citizens. Their presence impacts animal and human health, military readiness, urban vegetation and infrastructure, water, energy and transportations systems, and indigenous peoples in the United States. They alter bio-physical systems and cultural practices and require significant public and private expenditure for control. This chapter provides examples of the impacts to human systems and explains mechanisms of invasive species' establishment and spread within sectors of the U.S. economy. From Invasive Species in Forests and Rangelands of the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the United States Forest Sector.
National Invasive Species Council. Invasive Species Advisory Committee.
Although the scientific literature has relatively few publications on the subject, the expanding distribution of ticks and their associated disease-causing pathogens are increasingly shown to be facilitated by the presence of certain invasive plant species, particularly plant understory and transition-zone species. Invasive species have been found to contribute to the spread and survival of ticks, hosts, and various disease-causing pathogens. For those species that have been investigated, several invasive plant species such as Japanese honeysuckle and barberry have been definitively shown to harbor and enhance tick, host, and pathogen populations by enhancing microhabitat and survival. Additionally, non-native tick species such as Asian longhorn tick have been introduced and potentially new invasive tick-borne pathogens or hosts can, and likely will, be introduced in the future. For more publications, see ISAC White Papers.