The Topic:
Invasive Species

Easier - Invasive species occur outside their natural range. They are nonnative plants and animals that harm or endanger native plants and animals or other aspects of biodiversity. Alien invasive species occur in all groups of plants and animals. They include competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites. They have invaded almost every type of native ecosystem and caused hundreds of extinctions.
Harder - Whether called invasive, nonnative, alien, exotic, or non indigenous; introduced species are those life forms that have evolved elsewhere and been purposely or accidentally moved to a new location. Some have invaded habitats by themselves (e.g., migrating wildlife, plants, and animals rafting on floating debris); however, human exploration, colonization, and commercial trade have dramatically increased the diversity, scale, and impact of the invasions. Introduced species often find no natural enemies in their new habitat and therefore spread quickly and easily.
Some nonnative species have been deliberately introduced. Kudzu for instance was a nonnative plant introduced in the United States to control soil erosion. European birds were brought here to make colonists feel more at home. Game fish have been widely transferred to stock sport fishing waterways. Some agricultural crops and trees have escaped farms, plantations, and ranches to become pests. The importation of agricultural and forestry products has brought assorted pest species and diseases into new areas. Nonnative ornamental plants are used in landscaping around homes and businesses. Many have moved into natural landscapes, some with significant ecological or economic impacts. Increased trade in exotic pets has led to an increasing variety of species that have escaped or been released by owners. The aquarium trade has contributed to large number of aquatic species being accidentally or intentionally released into waterways. Aquaculture has also increased the spread of fish and other aquatic species and associated diseases. Huge metal containers used in shipping goods via boat, train, and truck provide entry for seeds and small animals to new locales. Thousands of species of marine organisms were and are moved around the world on ship bottoms, and hundreds more have been moved globally by the wholesale transfer of edible oysters for 'replanting. It is estimated that more than 10,000 marine species each day may hitch rides around the globe in the ballast water of cargo ships. Flooding can also transport nonnative aquatic and marsh species to new regions.
Invasive species are a real threat to our environment and economy. Economic costs of nonnative species invasions in the United States reach billions of dollars each year. These biological invasions produce severe, often irreversible impacts on agriculture, recreation, and natural resources. Invasive species threaten biodiversity, habitat quality, and ecosystem function. They are the second greatest threat to native species, behind habitat destruction. They have contributed to the decline of over forty percent of U.S. endangered and threatened species. Introduced species also present an ever-increasing threat to food and fiber production.
Exotic Introductions (Chapt. 9 of Biodiversity and Conservation by P. J. Bryan)
This is an Australian website of an online hypertext book that covers invasive species.
Growing Pains Facts about Weed Invasions in the Western United States from the Bureau of Land Management
Weeds began entering this country in earnest in the mid-1800s, and new arrivals continue to this day. These plants have spread at an alarming rate because unlike native species, there are no native insects, fungi, or diseases to control their growth and spread.
Other Related BLM Websites:
2) Weeds Hall of Shame
3) What's Wrong With This Picture
Invasive Species Specialist Group
This huge website is provided by the organization that monitors threats from invasives and control or eradication methods for World Conservation Union (IUCN) members, conservation practitioners, and policy-makers.
Not-To-Be-Missed Sections:
2)100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species
3) Global Invasive Species Database
Non-native Invasive Species in the Great Lakes at TEACH Great Lakes
140 non indigenous or invasive, species have become established in and around the Great Lakes since the 1800s. Due in large part to increases in the volume of shipping traffic, the introduction of new 'exotic' species has increased dramatically over the past 50 years.
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following projects:
Join the Fight Against Invasive Species. Get ideas about the actions to take at sites like What You Can Do in the Fight Against Invasive Species and How Can You Prevent the Spread of Nonindigenous Species? .
Complete An Invasive Species WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest projects.
1) Invaders by J. Boothby, J. Grimes, K. Ells, and B. Chamberlin
2) Invasive Species Webquest by S. Deas and K. Pepper (Grades 6 - 7)
Adopt a Roadside or Park Area. In many areas, invasive weeds have crowded out native plants, harming animal habitats and sometimes increasing erosion. You and your interested friends can help fight and reverse this damage. Find some good ideas for adopting an area and improving the environment at the Bureau of Land Management's Hands-on Learning webpage and sites like What's Wrong With This Picture and Volunteers Wage War on Weeds in Colorado. Be sure to coordinate your activities and work closely with the land manager or appropriate officials in your area.
Have Any Species Been Mislabeled? Not all nonnative species are recognized as invasive. Some useful resources connected to this issue includes sites like Should We Show Tolerance For Some Invasive Species? by W. Gibbons, Position Statement on Invasive Species, and Myths of Invasive Species by N. Kassulke. Are there any Non-native species that you believe should not be labeled as invasive? Make a case to support your opinion.
Identify the Top Ten Invasive Species. Decide what the top ten invasive species are in your region. Present your findings to the community. Select one or more avenues to inform the public: published article, forum or presentation in the community, poster(s), website, etc.
More Alien Species Websites
Center for Invasive Plant Management
This is the website of a coalition of agencies, organizations, and individuals interested in managing invasive plants and maintaining healthy ecosystems in western North America.
Other Invasive Plant Sites:
2) All That's Green Is Not Beholden by B. Ikenson
3) Impact of Invasive Plants on Species and Habitats at Risk in Canada by E. Haber
4) Invasive & Noxious Plants at the USDA Plants Database
5) Invasive Species in Australia
6) Noxious, Invasive, and Alien Plant Species at the Wetland Science Institute
7) Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas from the
National Park Service
8) Wildland Invasive Species Program from the Nature Conservancy
Great Reshuffling: How Alien Species Help Feed the Global Economy by J. A. McNeely
This paper is an examination of the history and ecology of the global trade in species of plants and animals.
Invasive Non-Native Species
This article outlines the second worst threat to the existence of native creatures and biodiversity - - the biological invasion of alien plants and animals.
Similar Websites:
2) Cracking Down on Invasive Species from The Forestry Source
3) Invasive Species: Fast Facts from Environmental Media Services
4) Invasive Species Threaten Healthy Ecosystems from Environmental News Network
5) Protecting Native Species and Ecosystems from Invasive Species from the Union of Concerned Scientists
6) Some Species Aren’t Welcome
7) What are Invasive Species from the Center for Biological Informatics
Invasive Species
On this site you can learn about the impacts of invasive species and the Federal government's response, as well as read select species profiles and find links to agencies and organizations dealing with invasive species issues.
Other Similar Websites:
2) Alien Species: A Slow Motion Explosion from the Environmental News Network
3) America's Least Wanted: Alien Species Invasions of U.S. Ecosystems from the
Nature Conservancy
4) Beware of Invasive Species
5) Fact Sheet: Invasive Species from the Ecological Society of America
6) Invasive Species (Links-page) at Native Species Network
7) Invasive Species (Links-page) at California Environmental Resources Evaluation
8) Invasive Species (Links-page) at Ecosystem Restoration Technology
9) Invasive Species at American Lands
10) Invasive Species
11) Invasive Species at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
12) Invasive Species Program at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
13) Invasive Species at Wildlife Services
Invasive Species News from Tidepool
This archive of news stories on invasive species comes from an online conservation publication.
Other Online Articles:
2) Non-native Earthworms, Other Invasive Species Devastating U.S. Forest and River
3) Some Species Aren’t Welcome by J. B. Verrengia from ABC News
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) from the United States Geological Survey
This site has been established as a central repository for accurate and spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of non indigenous aquatic species.
Related Websites:
2) Aquatic Invaders from Sea Grant's National Aquatic Nuisance Species Clearinghouse
3) Biological Pollution: Aquatic Invasive Species
4) Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants from the University of Florida
5) Impacts of Invasive Species
6) Impact of Invasive Species on Reptiles and Amphibians by J. E. Lovich, Western Ecological Research Center
7) Invasive Species: The Problem at LakeNet
8) Pathways of Aquatic Introductions
9) What Are Aquatic Nuisance Species and Their Impacts?
Non-native Ants
This site presents the known names and geographic distribution data of the known nonnative ant species of the world.
Position Statement on Invasive Species from the American Seed Trade Association
Learn of the concerns of the seed trades related to the February 3, 1999 Executive Order that created the Invasive Species Council.
Related Websites:
2) Executive Order on Invasive Species
3) National Invasive Species Act of 1996
Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species Site (SGNIS)
This is the site of a national information center that contains a comprehensive collection of research publications and education materials on zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species.
What's in My Neighborhood? from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Learn about the invasive species in your state.
Websites of State, Regional, Country Agencies / Organizations
Abstracts from the Importance of Native and Invasive Species in Land Management
Boat & Water Safety: Minnesota Boating Guide from the Dept. of Natural Resources
Alien Invasive Species of Pakistan
Control and Eradication of Invasive Species in Galapagos
Exotic and Invasive Species on the Colorado Plateau
Exotic Plant Species (British Columbia, Canada)
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project (HEAR) Hawaii and the Pacific Basin
Invasive Exotic Species (South Florida)
Invasive Species in the Great Lakes Region
Invasive Species from Environment Australia
Invasive Species (Hawaii) Links-site
Invasive Species at Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Invasive Species Alert! from King County, Washington
Invasive Species of Virginia
Nevada Invasive Species Initiative Information
Rangeland Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species (University of Arizona)
Top Twenty Invasive Species of New York
invasive specie
non indigenous specie
nonnative specie
introduced specie
habitat quality
economic threat
environmental threat
accidental relocation
ecosystem function
ballast water
biological diversity
National Invasive Species Act
noxious weed
exotic specie
deliberate introduction
Invasive Species Executive Order
native creature
natural balance
alien specie
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 8/01.