22 May 2015 is Biodiversity Day. Non-native invasive species like Mikania can detrimentally affect biodiversity - natural habitats and the people and animals that live in them. CABI’s Sean Murphy explains why.
Mikania (mikania micrantha) is tropical vine which is native to the Americas. Often referred to as the ‘Mile-a-Minute Weed’ Mikania grows rapidly and is able to adapt to different soil types. Mikania is becoming increasingly problematic within the Chitwan National Park in Nepal and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the world’s worst invasive species. Invasives are defined as an exotic species that threaten native ecosystems, habitats or species (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2008) and in the RCNP, Mikania is having a serious negative impact on the One-horned Rhinoceros, tigers, deer and the local people who reside in the buffer zones and rely on the park for fodder and other materials.