Invasive Species

From cane toads to kudzu, invasive species (sometimes called alien species) are those that aren't native to an ecosystem and that cause harm to native species, local economies or humans. Invasive species can be terrestrial species, like the pythons invading Florida's Everglades, marine, like the lionfish invading Caribbean waters, or pathogens. Invasive species can cause harm by out-competing native species, or preying on them. They can sometimes increase fire risks or contribute to erosion. Some invasive species have been introduced accidentally and others, like kudzu, were introduced on purpose and then spread more widely than originally intended. Invasive species are found in every type of habitat and are typically difficult to eradicate. Read more about invasive species around the globe and efforts to stop their spread.
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Fire Ants Hitched Ride Around Globe on 16th-Century Ships
Spanish trade routes in the 16th century that likely spread invasive fire ants around the globe.
February 19th, 2015
In one of the first global species invasions, tropical fire ants spread worldwide by inadvertently hitching rides on 16th-century Spanish ships. Unknowingly, the Spanish were setting up quite a headache for future generations.
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Near-Extinct Galápagos Island Tortoises Make Colossal Comeback
giant tortoise
October 28th, 2014
Once down to only 15 animals, giant tortoises on Espãnola, a tiny Galápagos island, now number about 1,000, making the reptile one of conservation's greatest success stories.
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Invasive Camel Crickets Widespread in US Homes
Asian camel cricket
September 2nd, 2014
An invasive species of camel cricket from Asia is now far more common in American basements than the native variety, a citizen science project found.
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Killer Shrimp Could Invade the Great Lakes
killer shrimp
February 7th, 2015
Killer shrimp, creatures that indiscriminately slay other animals without eating them, may soon join the list of invasive species living in the Great Lakes, a new study finds.
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Suspenseful Video: Alligator Attacks Scaredy Cat
Florida keys alligator
September 24th, 2014
An amazing video from the Florida Keys shows a curious domestic cat nearly become a midnight snack for an American alligator.
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Lionfish's Terminator-Style Killing Alarms Scientists
a red lionfish
August 14th, 2014
When other predatory fish quit stalking their prey to look for easier targets, lionfish just keep on killing.
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'Rock Snot' Gets Slimy Boost from Global Warming
rocksnot, global warming
May 8th, 2014
A type of freshwater algae, known as "rock snot," that infiltrates river bottoms and clumps on rocks is not an invasive species introduced into waterways by humans, a new study finds.
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When You Stray From a Trail, Invasive Species Follow
japanese stiltgrass, invasive species
January 7th, 2015
Straying from the trail, hikers can spread invasive species deep into the woods.
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Chomping Invaders! Alien Trap-Jaw Ants Spread Along Gulf Coast
June 23rd, 2014
An aggressive type of trap-jaw ant with a mighty bite is gaining ground in the U.S. southeast, new research finds. The species, Odontomachus haematodus, is native to South America, but it seems to have spread recently along the Gulf Coast unnoticed.
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