The Economic Impacts of Invasive Species

  • According to ecologist David Pimental and a team of researchers from Cornell University, the estimated total costs of invasive species in the United States amount to more than $123 billion each year. (Pimentel et al., 1999).  
  • More than 40 percent of species on the U.S. Department of the Interior's endangered or threatened species lists are at risk primarily because of non-indigenous species--and a pricetag cannot be placed on their loss. (Alan Hall, "Costly Interlopers,"  February 15, 1999, http://www.sciam.com/article
  • In addition to impacts on human health and natural communities, invasive species do billions of dollars in damage to agriculture, forestry, fisheries and infrastructure. Expenditures to combat invasives in the U.S. total approximately $137 billion annually.
  • Estimates for the damage caused to the cotton industry by a single organism, the boll weevil, and range from $6 to $50 billion.
  • Zebra mussels and Asian clams clog utility pipes, irrigation pipes and boat engines. A recent calculation estimated zebra mussel damage at $5 billion annually.
  • Control of residential pests such as cockroaches and rats, both of which are invasive, costs about $6 billion annually.
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