The 10 Most Invasive Animals & Insects in New York State
There's nothing worse than an unwanted guest.
Invasive species are one of the major threats to local flora and fauna. Through a variety of entry points, dangerous species of all kinds are brought into and spread throughout the United States on land and in water. Sometimes those species are large and obvious, like feral swine, but more often than not, they're tiny and inconspicuous, like a zebra mussel.
WHAT MAKES A SPECIES INVASIVE?
The term "invasive" is used to describe a species that can reproduce rapidly and spread aggressively. They may damage the environment, the economy, or even public health.
An invasive species can come from other countries, but that's not a necessary criteria to be labeled "invasive." For instance, although lake trout are native to the Great Lakes, Wyoming's Yellowstone Lake considers them to be invasive because they compete with the local cutthroat trout for the same habitat.
HOW THEY SPREAD
The main source of spread is unintentional human activity. Because of how quickly people and the goods we use move around the globe, they frequently bring unwanted guests with them. That includes the aforementioned zebra mussel, which originates from the lakes of Slavic nations, but was introduced to the U.S. beginning in the 1980s by the ballast water of traveling ships.
USA Today recently posted an interactive map showing the the most common invasive species in each of the 50 states. To make the map they used "aggregated data from Federal and State agencies, and individual reports to the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia."
Let's take a look below at 5 invasive insects and 5 invasive animals to be on the lookout for in New York State: