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Black rat
Invasive Species
also known as exotic species, bioinvaders
• Plants, animals & microbes not native to
• Accidentally or intentionally introduced
• Out-compete native species for resources
• Reproduce prolifically
• Difficult to control due to lack of native
• Dominate ecosystems
Zebra Mussel
(24 MM)
Caspian Sea to
Missouri River?
Just a Long Ride Across the Ocean in a
Big Ship
• 1988 – Lake St. Clair (connects Lake Huron &
Lake Erie
• 1990 – in all Great Lakes
• 1991 – into Illinois & Hudson Rivers
• 1992 – Arkansas, Cumberland, Hudson,
Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio & Tennessee
• 1994 – 19 states report zebra mussels
• 2002 – isolated quarry in Virginia
Cluster of zebra mussels
Kudzu vines
Abstract Art?
Unique use of kudzu vines
Japanese Honeysuckle flowers
Is this a pretty picture?
Taking a chokehold
Field of purple loosestrife
Chestnut Blight Fungus
Brown Tree Snake
Impacts of Invasive Species
Decrease in local/global biodiversity -->
decrease ecosystem health --> extinction
change to habitat
domination of habitat
changes in predator/prey relationships
carry disease
Am I an invasive species to the
Galapagos Islands?
• Estimated U.S. cost - $125-140 billion
• Estimate: 25% U.S. agriculture gross
national product lost to foreign pests
• Nearly half of the species listed as
threatened or endangered under the
Endangered Species Act are at risk due to
competition with or predation by invasive
What can you do to help solve
this problem?