Introduction of Exotic Species

The 2009 theme for the UN-sanctioned International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on May 22 was “Alien Invasive Species,” which were described as “one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and to the ecological and economic well-being of society and the planet.”

One of these species is the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), native to the Caspian and Black seas, which has been causing serious problems for fishing, mollusk diversity and electricity production in North America’s Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin.

A record number of countries participated in the 2009 IDB, a sign of the growing awareness of the threat these invasive species pose to biological diversity and human interests.