An Eco Disaster (or Ecodisaster) is an event in the Space stage in which a certain species of creatures have a dangerous disease and must be eradicated within short amount of time, and will go extinct if you don't do anything or fail to eradicate them in time, and then another species will catch the disease. Stopping Eco Disasters can earn the Eco Hero badge.
The primary mission of stopping a eco disaster is to kill 5 infected animals. If this is not done, the species of animals that had the infection will become extinct, and will not be recoverable. If the player fails to stop the infection for all 3 types of animal on a Terrascore row then deforestation will begin. If the player does not add the set of animals back to the planet then over time the deforestation will get worse, causing a single species of plants to vanish from the surface every X.XX minutes. The player must replace these extinct plants to replace the animals ultimately to stop the eco disaster. After this has happened 3 times the atmosphere of the planet will become unstable and will eventually drop a level (So if a planet had T3 before the eco disaster the red dot will slowly move to the planet's natural temperature like before it was terraformed and will stop moving when it lands at T2.) this will cause the area of the circle assigned to that terrascore in the terraforming GUI to turn red, and the player must stabilize the previous terrascore to save the planet. This is because the instant that the final plant dies from the current terrascore all the creatures from previous terrascore will die out, along with one plant. The plant must be replanted and the creatures replaced in order to stabilize the terrascore. In the end, the player must replace all extinct types of animal and plant in order to stop the eco disaster. If a empire calls for assistance to stop a eco disaster and you ignore them then the empire that needed help will give you a -40 or -60 Relation Bonus for "Hurting our Planet". Failing to fix an ecodisaster will also result in a drop of a T-Score, which lowers spice production.
Eco Disasters on your colony planets can be slowed down with Bio Protectors and the probability of it occuring can be reduced with Bio Stabilizers. It is also possible to halt an Eco Disaster with the Staff of Life and rejuvenate lost species if the planet was a Category-3 planet, though they probably will be different.
Like eradication missions, the five infected animals will be marked with glowing trails, and can be found with the radar. If the infection spreads to other species, they will not be marked and must be found by following the radar. A player could also fail to avert an eco disaster when they kill too many uninfected creatures of the same species of the infected. The creatures are usually killed with a laser or pulse, and bombs can also kill them but harm the surrounding species.
NOTE: If the planet the ecodisaster triggers on happens to be the homeworld of one of your other saved games (henceforth the race that gets the ecodisaster prompt shall be referred to as race A and the race that owns the affected planet shall be referred to as race B), then two complications will occur:
1)You will not be able to use any of your tools or weapons as race A while on that planet, nor will you be able to interact with it in any other pertinent way as race A (since you are unable to do this by default when on another save's homeworld).
2)The Ecodisaster will not be present should you switch over to playing as race B; the ecodisaster is only present while playing as race A.
To deal with this unique issue, wait for one species to go extinct while playing race A (an effect that will carry over to race B), then go play as race B and plop down a replacement species.