Non-Native Pets

  • Released, non-native pets may form introduced populations in the wild where they cause negative economic, environmental, and/or human health effects.
  • Across the U.S., 4,500 invasive species have established sustaining populations. Invasions of non-native plants, animals, and microbes are thought to be responsible for 42 percent of the decline of native species now listed as endangered or threatened.
  • The USDA believes that under no circumstances should non-native pets be released.
  • Invasive species have caused major financial losses in agriculture, forestry, and other economic sectors. It is estimated that the total cost of invasive species in the U.S. is $100 billion each year.
  • Pets may become invasive by escaping. Securing tanks, terrariums, cages, is essential to prevent accidental introduction. Pets sometimes have invasive pests on them or are transported with other invasive species.


Sources: Hoffman, MP Meeting the Challenges of Invasive Species; Segelken R Biological Invasions: Economic and Environmental Costs of Alien Plant, Animal, and Microbe Species, Cornell Dep. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Marks, R. Invasive Species, Natural Resources Conservation Service & Wildlife Habitat Council; National Invasive Species Council


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