Global economic costs of alien birds

Thomas Evans, Elena Angulo, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Anna Turbelin, Franck Courchamp

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The adverse impacts of alien birds are widespread and diverse, and associated with costs due to the damage caused and actions required to manage them. We synthesised global cost data to identify variation across regions, types of impact, and alien bird species. Costs amount to US$3.6 billion, but this is likely a vast underestimate. Costs are low compared to other taxonomic groups assessed using the same methods; despite underreporting, alien birds are likely to be less damaging and easier to manage than many other alien taxa. Research to understand why this is the case could inform measures to reduce costs associated with biological invasions. Costs are biassed towards high-income regions and damaging environmental impacts, particularly on islands. Most costs on islands result from actions to protect biodiversity and tend to be low and one-off (temporary). Most costs at mainland locations result from damage by a few, widespread species. Some of these costs are high and ongoing (permanent). Actions to restrict alien bird invasions at mainland locations might prevent high, ongoing costs. Reports increased sharply after 2010, but many are for local actions to manage expanding alien bird populations. However, the successful eradication of these increasingly widespread species will require a coordinated, international response.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292854
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2023


  • alien birds
  • biological invasions
  • global economic costs


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