Impact of invasive species on YOUR environment

May 10, 2012
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Invasive species are species from an area other than your own. They can have either positive or negative effects on your local ecosystem. You might have heard about the Burmese python in Florida. It is not in Florida but in other states as well destroying their ecosystems. Since Burmese pythons are top predators, the rest of the animals are its prey and species could go extinct. Another example of invasive species is the Stinkbug. Even though they bother most people, they also destroy fruits and vegetables severely hurting agriculture. A farmer’s profit can go down over night by a simple insect that needs food. So, invasive species can hurt the economy as well as the environment. An example of a positive effect of invasive species is in the Great Plains. An invasive species of weed came in; it destroyed the native grass by out competing it for space. But the animals can eat the weed so the weed provides native animals with food.

You can do a lot to help the containment of invasive species. You can join a club that can provide money to a local park that can use it to buy equipment to take out invasive species. You can also join a park clean up organization and remove invasive plants and animals. You can help at home too. If you don’t buy exotic plants then you have averted that plant’s introduction to the ecosystem. The Burmese Python was introduced when a person released it into the Everglades. Do not release exotic animals into the wild. That animal is invasive. Do not open packages with fruits from foreign countries. They may contain invasive species. The Stinkbug was introduced this way. Do not throw away live exotic fish into a lake that fish is invasive. The Asian Carp in the Mississippi river and Nile perch in Lake Victoria were introduced that way. The consequences of introducing invasive species are massive. Don’t aide but help in the removal. At Sandy Hook, New Jersey, an invasive species of beach grass called Asian Shore Grass is in completion, or natural struggle for survival with the American Beach Grass. You can join organizations like Clean Ocean Action or the New Jersey Sea Grant to help with the removal. Many parks have brochures that serve as public service announcements. You can pick one up and read it. It usually has a number that you can call. If you call that number you can join park clubs that specialize in the eradication of invasive species.





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