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Invasive Species UPSC NOTE

 Malaria in Africa

  • The spread of the mosquito species Anopheles stephensi across Africa poses a significant problem to a continent already heavily burdened by malaria

  • Most – 90% – of the world’s malaria deaths are on the continent.

  • The spread of An. stephensi is particularly concerning because the mosquito has a number of characteristics that make it difficult to control

  • This species can thrive in urban areas and likes being near humans

  • An. stephensi feeds on its vertebrate host both indoors and outdoors. 

  • This reduces the impact of commonly used vector control methods such as insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying.

  • Researchers from Djibouti reported the presence of An. stephensi in the Horn of Africa in 2012

  • Until then it had not been found in Africa although it was known to be widespread in Southeast Asia and parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

What is Invasive Species?

  • An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area

  • Invasive species can cause great economic and environmental harm to the new area

  • Many invasive species thrive because they outcompete native species for food

  • Many epidemics and pandemics have been driven by pathogens, hosts and vectors invading new areas. 

Earlier examples

  • Black Death in 14th century Europe, caused by the invasion of rats carrying fleas infected with the plague.

  • Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) both carry dangerous diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and Zika. 

  • The spread of these mosquito species into North America and Europe during the 1970s and 1980s was associated with large increases in these diseases.

  • Anopheles gambiae is one of the most effective malaria vectors in the world. 

  • It invaded South America in the 1930s. This species rapidly established itself in Brazil, causing a malaria epidemic with an estimated fatality rate of 13%


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Invasive Species UPSC NOTE
Invasive Species UPSC NOTE
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