Invasive Species

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Invasive Species

Number of AIS throughout the years

Q) How Are Invasive Species Introduced? A) Invasive species can be introduced into an environment in many ways, some intentional, and some unintentional. Examples of intentional introductions are activities involving habitat restoration, authorized fish stocking, and the biological control of pests, whereof people try to get rid of one species of an area by introducing a species that preys on them, but that new species may end up causing problems for the rest of the environment. There are also many unintentional ways, including but not limited to: Opened canals and waterways, species escaping from fish farms and similar places, live bait that escaped, being released from aquariums or water gardens, recreational boating and moved equipment, and internet and mail ordered species. Besides all the ways invasive species are introduced into an environment, their negative effect on those around them obviously weren’t taken into consideration. If people aren’t careful, even the tiniest mistakes or actions can cause disastrous effects in the environment.

Q) How do invasive species, such as lionfish, affect the environments they are introduced into?A) Invasive species do a lot of harm to the environments they are introduced into. They compete with the indigenous animals for resources, which can cause the number of native species to decrease dramatically. They often consume many of the important nutrients that other organisms need to survive. Lionfish, for example, are extremely dangerous to the new environments they enter. With their pointy, poisonous spines, they have no predators, so they quickly multiply and take over an area of the ocean. As they grow in number, they consume more and more of the food that the native species need to survive. This can cause a dangerous drop in populations of these native marine species.


Q) What is done in order to help regulate the amount of invasive species in an ecosystem? A) Throughout the years, there have been multiple times when federals laws, authorities, programs, international agreements and treaties have been formed in order to prevent, control, or manage different types of invasive species. When it comes to invasive species , prevention is key to keep an ecosystem fully functional. Scientist research and monitor the ecosystem and manage the number of different species and are always checking for an early detection of an incoming invasive specie. When dealing with an invasive species, scientist may need to cage or hunt them in order to restore the ecosystem, returning it to normalcy. In the year 2000, there was a total of $631.5 million dollars spent on invasive species issue, having NOAA spending $5.5 million dollars themselves. There are more than 20 federal agencies working on invasive species as of now, and multiple programs have been launched. Some cases have consisted of focusing on aquatic plant problems and zebra mussels, where research had to be conducted and later having state laws requiring the eradication of invasive weeds, this being the River and Harbors Act of 1899 directed towards the Department of Defense’s Army Corps of Engineers.

Invasive species are aquatic and terrestrial organisms and plants that have been introduced into new ecosystems

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Nicknamed "nuisance" or "exotic" species

Any organism that exists somewhere in or near water where it doesn't belong

AIS do damage mainly by consuming native species,competing with them for food or space and introducing disease

Other AIS


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