Invasive species – telling the story of the hidden threat to livelihoods



Millions of people living in rural communities around the world face problems with invasive species –animals, diseases, insects and plants – that are out of control and have resulted in damage costing more than an estimated US $1.4 trillion globally (Pimentel et al 2001). Yet, while we may have heard about the threats of losing biodiversity, some may have never considered how the addition of a species could be a detriment to agriculture and farmers.

Their stories tell us how.


Grace Kiseku
is the Assistant Head of her village near Lake Baringo, Kenya. She and her neighbours are pastoralists. They graze their livestock (sheep, cattle and goats) on the land around the village. But her cattle are dying. They are affected by prosopis (Prosopis juliflora), an invasive weed which is threatening her and her neighbours’ livelihoods. The plant is taking over, meaning the animals are forced…

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