These animals and insects are invading, and could wreak havoc on our environment.
The cane toad has plenty of natural predators in its native habitat, but few outside of it. Imported to various countries to control crop pests, it began preying on other species.
Not native to the area, there are about 300,000 of the 17-foot long pythons in Southern Florida. They threaten a variety of species, including panthers, coyotes and birds.
Brought to North America and Australia to fight pests, Starlings fight native species for territory. Forming huge flocks of over 3,000 birds, they wreak havoc by eating farm crops.
Asian Tiger Mosquitos:
The Asian tiger mosquito spreads via the international tire trade – through rainwater caught in tires. This aggressive insect transmits many human diseases, including West Nile virus and Dengue fever.
Small Indian Mongoose:
Small Indian mongoose were introduced to Central and South America to fight snakes and rats. They are blamed for the decline of many endangered species. They also carry rabies.
The Silverleaf Whitefly:
The Silverleaf Whitefly extracts nutrients from the leaves of crops, causing stunting and poor yields. Since its arrival in 1991, it has caused over 500 million dollars of damage in California alone.
The Common Rabbit:
The common European rabbit reproduces quickly. Females can have 18-30 babies a year. They eat so much that they have pushed native plant species to the brink in certain areas.
Also known as the ship rat, they spread throughout the world centuries ago by boarding trading ships. The omnivorous invaders can climb trees, and are blamed for catastrophic declines of birds on islands.
Asian Long-horned Beetles:
Asian long-horned beetles are wood-borers who cause 3.5 billion dollars damage annually in the U.S. They disrupt a tree’s vascular system, encouraging fungus, and weakening a its structural integrity.
Native to the Black and Aral seas, Zebra mussels were introduced to the Great Lakes through ballast water. They multiply quickly and displace native mussels and fish species by eating so much plankton.