#Investigation: the exceptional price of invasive species

#Investigation: the exceptional price of invasive species

It’s a hazard for the planet that’s nonetheless largely underestimated. Invasive alien species are a risk to biodiversity, but additionally to the economic system. The annual price has been estimated at greater than 160 billion euros, worldwide.

In Belgium, the tremendous invasive champions are referred to as Asian hornet, tiger mosquito, Japanese knotweed or raccoon. Their unfold rapidly acquired uncontrolled.

In simply 20 years, raccoons have conquered all of Wallonia and can be between 50,000 and 75,000. The animal is of American origin: it was imported particularly by GIs who had made it their mascot.

“I caught greater than 2000 in 18 months, explains Benoît Leuris, member of a group from the Walloon Area who installs cages to cease the proliferation of raccoons. The animal is a vector of rabies, additionally it is a provider of a worrying illness, Baylis ascaris, which may be deadly for people. That is why you should not contact the animal’s coat.”

After seize, raccoons are euthanized by gunshot. A course of that shocks some nature lovers. “We would not have the selection, continues Benoît Leuris. Regardless of his pleasant face, the raccoon decimates the native fauna. It invades properties looking for meals. It could assault pets. It’s a fearsome predator.”

An Asian snake invades Flanders

In Hasselt, in Limburg, it’s a 1m50 snake which frightens the native inhabitants. The rat snake is just not harmful however it breeds rapidly alongside railway tracks. The primary specimens to be discovered within the wild are stated to have escaped 6 years in the past from a retailer within the area specializing in reptiles.

“Now we are able to now not promote this species in Flanders, explains biologist Loic van Doorn, as a result of there’s a free inhabitants. Nonetheless, the snake continues to be on sale in Wallonia.”

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