Pick Our Brain - August 2009

What is the difference between native, non-native, endemic, and invasive species?

  • Native - Species that are part of an area’s original fauna or flora, i.e., indigenous. (Plants and animals that occur naturally in a given area or region).
  • Non-Native – Species not indigenous to the ecosystem in which they’re found-often transported there as a result of human activity. (Also known as an exotic species).
  • Endemic – Native species found only in one specific region or locality.
  • Invasive – A non-native species that easily spreads and reproduces in the area to which it has been introduced. Invasive species can be difficult to control and cause economic or environmental harm. Many have the potential to transform entire ecosystems, outcompeting native species and causing native species (and those that depend on them for food, shelter, and habitat) to disappear or decline markedly.
Definition of Native, Non-Native, Endemic, and Invasive Species