Invasive species
#1
Is The United States being invaded by foreign animal species brought by people as pets?
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#2
Absolutely. Just one example: The Florida Everglades overrun by pythons, which are happily breeding and feeding on the native fauna.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
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#3
Bugs, birds, and fish come to mind as well.

And there are some plant species that are also extremely aggressive. Kudzu, for example, is a huge problem in the southeast. It was brought over to help control soil erosion but they didn't bring any species that feed on it, and the stuff just grows and grows.

When I came back to Georgia last year I found that there was a program which finally introduced a parasite that helps control the Kudzu, but apparently funding for the program has been cut or reduced. It's starting to come back in certain areas.
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#4
Michael Wrote:When I came back to Georgia last year I found that there was a program which finally introduced a parasite that helps control the Kudzu, but apparently funding for the program has been cut or reduced. It's starting to come back in certain areas.

I've heard that goats will eat it, and effectively keep it under control when they can be turned loose on it.

Many invasive plant species were brought for ornamental value. Honeysuckle and wisteria are imported problem plants (no, honeysuckle is NOT native to the Southeast US!) Wisteria can get out of control & cover buildings & trees almost as much as kudzu. Granted, it's prettier during its brief blooming season than kudzu. I've got one wisteria in my yard which is a pain to keep under control.

There is another import from China, called ailantha or tree-of-heaven (derisively called "ghetto palm" in many urban areas) that hitches rides on vehicles & spreads down roadsides and into wooded areas. Many invasive species seem to hitch rides readily & often flourish around commercial & industrial areas & truck/train/ship transport hubs. I've seen stuff growing on the fences & roadsides around my place of employment I'm pretty sure doesn't "officially" live here at all, probably courtesy of truck & train traffic.

Somebody released prickly pear cactus into the sandhills & it's a major pain. It will spread in patches in a lawn, it's tough, & easily cloned & rooted. If the young plants are mown, the pieces will often survive & take root.

The Dept. of Agriculture, & those of many states, have pretty informative websites on invasive plant & animal species.
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#5
Hey Alvin on an entirely unrelated note did you know that there is going to be a new live version of Dracula, co-authored by Dacre Stoker, performed in the West Cola. amphitheater, right down the hill from Cafe Strudel?
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#6
The USDA's website for info of all sorts about invasive plants, bugs, animals etc.:
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/resou...ists.shtml
In regard to the Tree-of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), it is an awful pest, but for most of my boyhood in Brooklyn it was the only tree I knew. So I do still have a special feeling for it. Not that I would ever plant one now.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
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#7
I didn't realize honeysuckle was an invasive species in the southeast. We used to suck the nectar out of the flowers when I was a kid until someone pointed out to us that hummingbirds were depending on it for food. In fact, I spent part of an afternoon watching a hummingbird visit all the honeysuckle plants in a neighborhood just because I wanted to make sure it wouldn't starve because of what we had done.
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#8
There are several species of Honeysuckle. Here in the Northeast it's the Japanese Honeysuckle that grows rampantly and can quickly overgrow ornanental shrubs. Even worse is the Oriental Bittersweet vine. Left to itself it can climb the tallest trees with stems 3 or 4 inches thick at its base. English Ivy will do the same as well as spread across the ground smothering everything in its path.
With the coming of global warming we expect even more pesty flora and fauna to show up.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
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