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Invasive Species: Major Laws and the Role of Selected Federal Agencies

CRS – Invasive Species: Major Laws and the Role of  Selected Federal Agencies – M. Lynne Corn, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy; Renée Johnson , Specialist in Agricultural Policy . October 24, 2013

“An “invasive” species (alternatively known as an alien, exotic, injurious, introduced or naturalized, non-native, nonindigenous, nuisance, or noxious species) refers to an animal or plant that is introduced into an environment where it is not native. The introduction of  invasive species to the United States—whether deliberate or unintentional—from around the  globe can pose a significant threat to native animal and plant communities, and may result in extinctions of native animals and plants, species disruptions as native species compete for limited resources, reduced biodiversity, and altered terrestrial or aquatic habitats. It is estimated that 50,000 non-native species have been introduced to the United States, including nonindigenous plant and animal species….This report provides an overview of the federal laws and directives in the United States that govern invasive species, and the role of selected federal agencies. A summary of selected laws and agencies is provided in Appendix A. The patchwork of laws that currently govern invasive species in the United States also contribute to fundamentally different approaches to regulate invasive species, which is beyond the scope of this report.”

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