Invasive Species Environmental Hazards Presentation Created by Norah Kilpatrick, John McNamara, Mariana Quinn, and Ruben Saavedra
What are invasive species? • Invasive species are types of plants, animals, organisms, or any living thing that enter a non-native ecosystem and cause different consequences for the native species in and around that habitat. The problems they cause begin gradually, but can cause long-term dangers for the environment if they are not removed. Fact: In the United States, over 3 million acres of land are destroyed by invasive plant species each year.
Causes of Invasive Species • Often the cause of invasive species in habitats is the carelessness of people. • Invasive species can be spread through boats, wood products, exotic plants, and even through exotic pets. • Without being aware of invasive species, they will continue to be “passengers” and spread quickly. • Most people are not aware that there may be stragglers attached to modes of transportation and different plants.
Effects of Invasive Species • The ways that invasive species can effect immediate environments and the world are numerous and harmful. Only a few of these effects are listed below: • Invasive species can alter food chains in an environment. They might enter the environment as a producer or consumer, but because of their ability to adapt to new environments, they might take over the food web. • By entering new ecosystems, invasive species can displace or remove native species from an environment, sometimes even permanently. • Invasive species also reduce the overall health of the environment because of the extreme changes they bring along as well as the reasons stated above.
Examples of Invasive Species Cactus Moth Giant African Snail Japanese Knotweed Asian Carp
This graph shows the predicted outcome of continued invasive species entering new environments. You can see from the graph that as the area infested rises, so does the control cost as time goes on. http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2012/05/free-invasive-species-training-offered.html
What can YOU do? • As you saw in the “Invasion Curve” graph, invasive species are a serious problem and more importantly a growing problem. So how can you help? • Start small and local. Begin with your garden or your neighborhood park. • Be aware of your surroundings. Learn to identify invasive species and how they should be properly destroyed. • If you take a boat out into different waters, make sure to take that extra step and clean the bottom of your boat. • Our ecosystems are in incredible danger. We must clean our boats, weed our gardens, inspect our firewood, and work our way to being rid of invasive species.
Bibliography • http://www.fws.gov/invasives/what-you-can-do.html • http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Threats-to-Wildlife/Invasive-Species.aspx • http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/invasives/index.shtml • http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2012/05/free-invasive-species-training-offered.html