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Invasive species are bad news for the environment. On this episode, Trace and special guest Sally (from YouTube channel Shed Science) discuss what happens when humans force plants and animals into new environments. As you'll see, bad things can happen.
Earlier this month, a Colorado couple released a couple goldfish into a lake. They quickly reproduced and now there are thousands of goldfish in this lake. Something that seems small, like letting two fish into the wild, can have major consequences. The gold fish is actually a form of carp, a fish originating in Japan. This huge surge of gold fish might bring viruses or overwhelm the native populations. There have been plenty of other examples, too. In 1890, devoted Shakespeare fan Eugene Scheiffelin introduced 100 starlings (a common bird in Shakespearean plays) to Central Park in New York. Less than 50 years later, the starling population had expanded all the way to California, sometimes flying in flocks a million strong. Today, there are an estimated 200 million starlings across North America, causing massive amounts of damage to farm crops and even airplanes. Watch this episode to learn about other ways non-native animals have impacted the environment.
10 of the World's Worst Invasive Species (io9.com)
"Not all invasions come from marauding armies. You can devastate a place just by introducing a non-native species that creates dramatic and unexpected shifts in the dynamics of the ecosystem."
Exotic Pets Turn Invasive, Threatening Florida (livescience.com)
"Florida is now officially the world capital for invasive and potentially invasive reptiles and amphibians, according to a 20-year study verifying that 56 non-native species of these animals have become established in the sunshine state."
Invasive Species (nwf.org)
"'Invasive species' - it doesn't sound very threatening, does it? But these invaders, large and small, have devastating effects on U.S. wildlife."