Invasive Species - Birdville Independent School District
Invasive Species 10) Kudzu known as the "mile-a-minute vine" and "the vine that ate the South," the Kudzu vine is native to Japan, but was first brought to the United States in 1876 as a hardy, fast-growing vine that could help inhibit soil erosion., Kudzu has been spreading across the U.S. at a rate as fast as 150,000 acres annually, individual vines can grow upwards of a foot per day 9) The Black Rat The black rat is most likely one of the first invasive species to ever be inadvertently distributed by humans. The species originated in tropical Asia, but is believed to have reached Europe by the first century A.D. before spreading across the world, hitching rides en masse on European ships. Since then, the black rat has thrived in
just about every region of the world, and has adapted exceptionally well to rural, urban, and suburban environments alike. Caused dramatic population declines and even extinction of countless bird, reptile, and other small vertebrate species the world over. This Asian tiger mosquito is characterized by its distinctive 8) The Asian Tiger Mosquito black and white stripe pattern, and while it's native Southeast Asia, scientists believe it has quickly become one of the planet's most widely-distributed animal species, spreading to at least 28 countries in the last two
decades alone. The tiger mosquito is believed to be spread through the international tire trade, as tires stored outside tend to retain rainwater, and provide the ideal breeding and living conditions for the mosquito. It poses a distinct threat to populations worldwide, not only because it carries viruses like Dengue and West Nile, but because it tends to associate closely with humans, and is known to feed 24 hours a day (many species of mosquito only feed at dusk and dawn). 7) The Cotton Whitefly The cotton whitefly is living proof that some of the most hard-hitting invasive species come in tiny
packages. Adult whiteflies measure just a millimeter long by the time they reach adulthood, but are known to feast (in staggering numbers) on 900 different kinds of plants worldwide, and are capable of transmitting upwards of 100 different plant viruses. While whiteflies are believed to have originated in India, you'll find them thriving on every single continent but Antarctica Billions in agricultural loss 6) The Snakehead Fish The snakehead is an absolutely nightmarish animal. In fact, National Geographic went so far as to nickname the Northern Snakehead "Fishzilla," and with good reason. Snakehead fish are a veritable force of nature they
have sharp, shark-like teeth; an appetite for blood; can grow to over three feet in length; can lay up to 75,000 eggs a year; and can even breathe and migrate on land, searching for other bodies of water for up to four days at a time through the use of a primitive breathing organ. While they were originally native to East Asian waters, various species of snakehead have decimated native food chains in the US ranging from Maine to California. The Asian longhorned beetle actually spends the most destructive period of its life in a larval stage, during which time it tunnels and feeds on the layer of trees found between their bark and their wood. In large enough numbers, these larvae can eventually kill the tree. To prevent new infestations, officials often must resort to cutting down and burning infested trees. Originally native to countries in Asia like Japan, infestations of Asian longhorned beetles were first detected in New York
around 1996, but quickly spread to the majority of the East coast, where they are estimated to threaten 30-35% of trees on the Atlantic coast's urban areas. They're also found in California, Ontario, and parts of Europe. The economic toll of the Asian longhorned beetle is estimated to number in the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars 5) The Asian Longhorned Beetle 4) The Burmese Python The Burmese Python provides the perfect example of what can happen when a large, predatory species is introduced into an environment where the native
wildlife offers little-to-no competition for resources. The huge snakes which can grow to upwards of 20 feet in length are native to the tropic and subtropic areas of Southern Asia, where they are just as at home hanging out in and around water as they are slithering around in the treetops. Their accidental introduction to the wild in Florida, however, has shown that the species also does particularly well in the semi-aquatic environment of Everglades National Park, where an estimated 30,000 Burmese Pythons have made a habit of feasting on a variety of endangered birds and alligators (yes, alligators). Sometimes invasive species are introduced into regions as a form of biological pest control. Sometimes these non-native species actually do a pretty good job of handling the initial pest problem. And sometimes they become an enormous pest problem themselves. The cane toad is often cited as the perfect example of an introduced species gone horribly wrong. The cane toad is native to South and
Central America, but when its introduction to regions of Hawaii, the Caribbean, and the Philippines to fight pests in sugarcane fields yielded impressive results, Unfortunately, cane toads have a nasty habit of not just eating crop pests and insects, but also just about any terrestrial animal that they can fit their grotesquely huge mouths around that they can grow to over 30 cm in length. They also secrete toxins capable of killing just about any animal they come in contact with (humans have died after ingesting their eggs), seriously lacking in the natural predator department. 3) The Cane Toad The common rabbit is native to
southern Europe and north Africa, but the tendency for rabbits to... overproduce... unchecked expansion on just about every continent but Antarctica and Asia. The most famous case of population explosion probably occurred in Australia, where, in 1859, an English introduced just 24 grey rabbits to his plot of land to hunt Within ten years, however, the rabbits had bred with local rabbits on such a prolific scale that two million could be shot or trapped annually without having a noticeable impact on the population. By 1900, the rabbit population had exploded to a size reflective of an almost exponential population growth, had contributed to serious erosion of soils across the continent by overgrazing and
burrowing, and are believed to be the most significant known factor for species loss in Australia's history. 2) The European/ Common Rabbit The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria in East Africa in the 1950s, and has since been fished commercially. the population exploded in the late 1980's, leading to the extinction or near extinction of several hundred native species. The devastating impact of the gigantic fish which can grow up to 2 meters in length and weigh in at over 200 kg is believed to be the result of its voracious
appetite for key ecosystemsupporting members like fish, crustaceans, insects, and zooplankton. The introduction of this species to Lake Victoria is one of the most cited examples of the negative effects alien species can have on ecosystems. 1) The Nile Perch Brown marmorated stink bug native to China, Japan accidentally introduced into US, 1998 Now in 41 states serious damage to crops many
fruits & veggies: Over-winter in homes: can be tens of thousands in attic Vacuum or sweep up if in home Really do stink if scared or squashed https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNwHNYXSCGg
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