Mains Daily Question
Feb. 20, 2024

Q 1. How do invasive species affect the biodiversity in India? List the measures that can be taken to control its spread and protect the biodiversity. (10M, 150W)

Model Answer

Approach to the answer:   

Understanding and structuring the answer:   

The question has two main headings: 1) Impact of invasive species on the native biodiversity in India and 2) Measures to control the spread of invasive species and protect the native biodiversity. Additionally, provide a case study for a comprehensive answer.   


Type 1: State the situation of invasive species in India by quoting relevant data. Type 2: Define invasive species and state its impacts in short. Quote some relevant data related to India.  


Heading 1: Impact of invasive species on the native biodiversity in India: Enlist the different impacts invasive species have on native biodiversity.   

Heading 2: Measures to control the spread of invasive species and protect the native biodiversity: Enlist multidimensional approaches towards controlling spread of invasive species. For value addition, use institutional data and a case study.      

Conclusion: Give a forward-looking conclusion – Type 1: Mention the need for adopting a comprehensive strategy for controlling the spread of invasive species. Type 2: Suggestive steps in the case study could be written as a conclusion.  


Answer: An invasive species is an organism (both plant and animals) that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area but aggressively colonizes and spreads in new habitats, often causing harm to native biodiversity


Impact of invasive species on the native biodiversity in India 


  • Outcompeting native species for resources such as food, water and space by growing rapidly and spreading aggressively. 
  • For example: Bengal shrub-mint at Kanha Tiger Reserve
  • Habitat alteration by modifying the physical structure of the environment and changing nutrients cycling patterns. 
  • For example: Pasturelands, forests and plantations altered by Lantana camara
  • Putting predation pressure by invasive predators upon the native species that have not developed defense against them, leading to sharp population decline or even extinction. 
  • For example: Birds, reptiles and small mammals predated by alien invasive species, Indian mongoose
  • Genetic pollution through hybridization resulting from interbreeding with native species, lead to dilution of genetic integrity and possibly extinction of original native species. 
  • For example: African catfish introduction from Bangladesh. 
  • Disease transmission via introduction of new diseases or parasites to vulnerable native species lacking immunity. 
  • For example: Spread of Tomato leaf curl virus in India via non-native tomato varieties. 

Measures to control the spread of invasive species and protect the native biodiversity 

  • Early detection and monitoring through regular surveys accompanied by early response and rapid control. 
  • For example: Zoological Survey of India maintains a database of more than 150 invasive faunal species. 
  • Restoration and habitat management using preferably locally adapted native species. 
  • For example: Management Action Plans (MAPs) for the restoration of selected wetlands in India. 
  • Strict regulation helps in providing a legal framework for necessary actions at all stages of detection and control of invasive species. 
    • For example: Central government has brought the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022 which  regulates and prohibits possession of invasive species.
  • Research and innovation in the field of genetic engineering and biotechnology could contribute to the development of effective management techniques. 
  • For example: Through ICAR, hundreds of universities in India have programmes on various invasive species, use of remote sensing, etc. 
  • International cooperation enhances knowledge exchange and coordinated action against invasive species. 
  • For example: Coordination under Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network, etc. 


Case study- New Zealand has established a comprehensive bio-security system and invested in early detection and rapid response programmes regarding invasive species. They have implemented a range of tools, including sniffer dogs, remote sensing technologies and citizen science initiatives, to detect and monitor invasive species effectively. 


Invasive species pose a persistent threat to native biodiversity in India. By implementing proactive measures, fostering international collaboration and promoting public awareness, we can safeguard ecosystems and ensure a sustainable future for India's unique and diverse native flora and fauna. 

Subjects : Environment
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