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Invasive Species Awareness Week

It's Invasive Species Awareness Week!

Humanity has done a spectaular (in some cases spectacularly disastrous) job of transporting species around the globe.  Any species that did not evolve in a particular location, but is now established in that location, is referred to as being non-native.  European starlings, emerald ash borer (an Asian beetle), and Amur honeysuckle (a shrub from Asia) are just a few examples of species that are invasive in North America.  Other (in)famous invasive species include cane toads (native to South/Central America, invasive in Australia and other places) and brown tree snakes (native to Papua New Guinea, invasive on many Pacific islands).  North America has also exported its share of species that have become invasive elsewhere - such as eastern grey squirrels in Europe.  Introduction of non-native species to new locations occurs either deliberately (example: kudzu vine, European starlings) or accidentally (example: zebra mussels).

The week of February 25 has been declared Invasive Species Awareness Week to draw attention to the issue of invasive species. 

While all invasive species are non-native, not all non-natives become invasive.  The world's Top 100 most invasive species include plants, animals, fungi, and viruses.  

Feral cats are highly invasive and wreak havoc in some parts of the world. Photo by V. Schmalhofer 

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