Invasive Species

Introduction

An invasive species is any kind of species that is growing and reproducing in a new ecosystem outside of its native ecosystem. An invasive species can be any kind of organism, animal or plant. If they grow and reproduce quickly, they can be very aggressive, potentially causing great harm to the ecosystem that they are invading. In some cases they are the leading threat to native wildlife.

Although species can invade new ecosystems naturally, the term “invasive species” is used primarily to refer to a species that has spread by human action. For example, organisms can be accidentally carried in the ballast water of ships. Insects can stow away in shipping crates, with fruits or vegetables. Invasive species can be plants that are sold as decorative plants, that later spread like wildfire and propogate into in the wild, competing with and strangling out the native plant life. They can be pets that escape, or get intentionally released into the wild.

Learn More:

Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area

Provides information on this formal partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, individuals and groups that manage invasive species.

Global Invasive Species Database

Describes invasive microorganisms, invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and plants, including their biology, ecology, geography, and eradication and control. Information from experts on biological invasion.

Invasive and Exotic Species of North America

Images and information about insects, weeds, diseases, biological control agents, and other invasive or exotic organisms.

Invasive Species Program – U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

National Invasive Species Council

From the U.S. Department of the Interior. A comprehensive, online information system that facilitates access to and exchange of invasive species data and resources by researchers, scientists, and concerned citizens.