August 9, 2022

Image credit: Reuters

According to a research, Bullfrog and snake invasions cost the world $16 billion.

Two species have been identified by scientists as being more at fault than any other for the economic harm brought on by invasive pests. The brown tree snake and American bullfrog have caused $16.3 billion (£13.4 billion) in damage worldwide since 1986.

In addition to doing environmental damage, the invasive pair has destroyed farm crops and caused cost-prohibitive power disruptions.

To prevent the spread of invasive species in the future, researchers hope that their findings will spur further investment.

The brown tree snake, which expanded wildly throughout many Pacific islands, was single-handedly blamed by the scientists, who published their findings in Scientific Reports, for causing a total of $10.3 billion in damage.

The snake’s massive population now on Guam, where it was unintentionally introduced by US marines a century ago, results in widespread power outages because it slithers over electrical wires and causes costly damage.

More than two million brown tree snakes live on the small Pacific island, where one estimate puts their density as high as 20 snakes per acre in the jungle on Guam.

Because they pose a greater threat to the extinction of native fauna, invasive species are thought to be more likely to affect island ecosystems.

The unmanageable American bullfrog populations in Europe need ambitious and costly management techniques.

To restrict the spread of the amphibian, which can grow up to 30cm (12 inches) in length and half a kilo in weight, authorities were forced to install expensive frog-proof fencing around known breeding areas.

According to an earlier EU study referenced by the authors, fencing off just five ponds to prevent the amphibians from escaping cost German officials €270,000 (£226,300).

The common coqui frog is another species that has been accused of causing economic harm differently. It is thought that their extremely loud mating song has led to a decrease in property values in the areas where they have established an infestation.

The study’s authors hope that the results will persuade decision-makers to increase future spending on pest management and other biosecurity measures.