Invasive Exotic Species

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Non-native plant and animal species are defined as those species living in an area outside their native range. If a non-native species causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental damage or pose a threat to human health and safety, it is considered an invasive species. Invasive species have infested millions of acres of natural areas in the United States with the associated loss of native species, including rare and endangered species. Particularly pervasive in Florida, invasive species have been documented to alter the ecological structure and function of entire ecosystems, sometimes leading to irreversible changes in ecosystem processes and food webs. Invasive plant, animal and fish species are a rapidly increasing environmental and economic problem in south Florida. Florida is second only to Hawaii in the severity of the threat posed by invasive species and is particularly vulnerable to the introduction and spread of invasives because of its subtropical climate, major ports of entry, and the pet, aquarium, and ornamental plant industries.

 

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Everglades

Invasive exotic species are seriously threatening the integrity of South                      Florida's native species communities.

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Agriculture

Invasive exotics can be a costly problem for agricultural practices.

 

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Backyard

Invasive exotic species endanger human health and damage private                         property.

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Recreation

Invasives can impact recreational opportunities.


 

Related Materials

IES Strategic Framework

March 4, 2014