On-line trade of aesthetic exotic organisms: sword of Damocles?

Exotic organisms introduced into non-native ecosystems may invade and affect the native biodiversity, which might lead to serious ecological, economic and sociological threats. Among the various pathways of introduction of non-native species, on-line pet trading is the most recently emerging method which facilitates rapid introduction of exotic species. Though on-line trading has become an influential factor for the growth of world economy in the current scenario, its role in the introduction of exotic species and their subsequent consequences in countries like India is least studied. In this article we describe the role of on-line trading in importing alien species, which can cause serious threats to India’s biodiversity and economy in near future. Our web survey revealed that 910 varieties of exotic fishes and 14 exotic animals are being sold through unregulated on-line trading.

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