Invasive Species

Invasive Species

What are invasive species?

An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to an area. When a plant or animal is aggressive to the extent that they out-compete native plants and animals and disrupt the ecological balance, they are referred to as “invasive”. These problem plants and animals are spread and introduced into lakes by many different methods. One of the most common (and fastest) ways invasive weeds spread is by hitching a ride on boats as they move between water bodies, such as those traveling along the interconnected Erie Canal system.

Plants and animals can also be introduced into new water bodies by boat trailers, bait buckets and fishing tackle. Some exotic invasive species have been introduced unintentionally when they are used in gardens and landscaping near a waterway. When people dispose of aquatic plants and animals by emptying their aquariums into a nearby waterway, non-native nuisance plants, fish, snails and clams can introduced into the region. Stopping the spread of invasive plants and animals is essential to the health of the Finger Lakes.

Characteristics:

  • Establish Easily
  • Produce High Number Offspring
  • Grow and Proliferate Quickly
  • Disperse Over a Wide Area
  • Persist Without Cultivation
  • Advantages over Native Species

What impacts do invasive species have over native species?

  • Increased competition with native plants
  • Alteration of environmental conditions
  • Reduction in variety and diversity of species
  • Impacts on people: 1) aesthetic-invasive plants decrease the quality of life and aesthetic value of a water body, 2) economic-clogged and infested water ways decrease property values, hurt tourism, impact fisheries, and cost communities money for control and management of plants, 3) recreation-invasive plants impede swimming, boating, fishing, and navigation opportunities
  • Less suitable habitat for fish and wildlife
  • Impacts on food chain and effects on ecosystem

This means that prevention is crucial and can be accomplished if everyone cleans their boats and equipment on dry land when leaving a water body. If an invasive plants and animals do arrive in a new area, early detection and rapid response are both essential to prevent a large infestation from becoming established.

Cayuga County’s Invasive Species:

Animals:

Plants:

Sooner than later,

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For more information check out these links/sources where I was able to obtain this information:
Cayuga County Government of the Finger Lakes
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County

12 Comment

  1. Wow, I learned a lot from this post. I didn’t really know anything about invasive species before I read it.

  2. Emily Ploch says:

    Wow I never knew that. Thanks for the info.

  3. It is good to know that there are not only steps that can be taken to remedy this, but also to prevent it!

  4. Kungphoo says:

    That is one ugly bug.. Taking fast action is needed to prevent the infestation.. and that is not easy.

  5. yuck!!! My boys would get a kick out of that bug, gross. Acting quick to these pests is a great idea before they get out of hand.

  6. Sam says:

    Zebra mussels are evil little monsters. Great info

  7. Debra says:

    I have never thought much about this before. Fabulous information!

  8. It’s amazing how planets and animals get moved about to different areas. Shame sometimes this causes the area to become destroyed or changed.

    1. Felicia says:

      Onica, exactly! Sometimes I think that we as people need to really think about our actions before we bring in a foreign species to clear up a different issue. Since the foreign species many times does not have any predators, it will reproduce or grow at a rapid rate and become invasive before we know it!

      The Tiny Professional

  9. Liz Mays says:

    I’ve been hearing about saltwater animals starting to adjust to fresh water. It’s really interesting!

  10. Ashley M says:

    We have homes in both Florida and Michigan and one of our biggest problems are invasive species of fish killing off others in our lakes and streams!

  11. Prevention and early detection of invasive species and other issues within an ecosystem are absolutely vital to protecting that ecosystem’s food chain and individual species. Thank you for sharing information on how to prevent the introduction of these invasive species.

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