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Florida has a large drawback with invasive species. Invasive species are animals launched to a non-native space. They aren’t at all times harmful, however they will destroy environments, killing off native species. Florida has over 500 invasive species and counting. Scientists aren’t positive how every of those animals and vegetation was launched. Generally, invasive species make their approach to a brand new place as unique pets or as stowaways on ships. Because the pet grows too massive, irresponsible individuals launch them into the wild, in an atmosphere that’s not native to. This results in a contest for sources between native and non-native species.
Though there are over 500 non-native species in Florida, we’re solely protecting 15 at this time. Hold studying to be taught extra about 12 invasive species in Florida.
1. Wild Hog/Boar (Sus scrofa)
Wild hogs have been an issue in North America for hundreds of years. They’re initially native to Eurasia and North Africa. Wild hogs are aggressive, quick, and usually sturdy. They cover from people and aren’t afraid to assault after they really feel threatened. In Florida, consultants estimate there are about 500,000 wild hogs and it’s possible there are over 9 million in america. Wild hogs have stocky our bodies and most males weigh about 200 kilos. Nonetheless, the biggest wild hog caught in Florida weighed 1,100 kilos. Whereas that is uncommon, it’s not unusual for hunters in Florida to catch wild hogs weighing at the least 300 to 400 kilos.
2. Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Some invasive species are so frequent that almost all of us don’t notice they aren’t native. Norway rats, often known as brown rats, frequent rats, or road rats. Norway rats are native to Mongolia, the plains of Asia, and northern China, regardless of their title. These giant rats are frequent all through Florida and they’re extra aggressive than different rodents. They’ve stocky and heavy our bodies and develop as much as 20 inches lengthy. Their tails alone can measure as much as 9.5 inches lengthy. Norway rats reached North America within the 1700s. About 50% of the ships coming into New York had been battling with rat infestations.
3. Black-tailed Prairie Canine (Cynomys ludovicianus)
The black-tailed prairie canine are discovered all through america, together with Florida. They belong to the household Sciuridae. They’re native to the Nice Plains in North America and are quite common in Texas. Enjoyable truth, one black-tailed prairie canine colony in Texas lined 25,000 sq. miles of land and included at the least 400 million black-tailed prairie canine residents. These animals are very social and have a physique size between 14 to 17 inches.
4. Sarus Crane (Antigone antigone)
Cranes are frequent in Florida, however do you know not all species are native? One crane species that’s non-native to Florida is the sarus crane. Though we aren’t positive what number of reside in Florida, they’re current. They’re native to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia. They’re straightforward to identify due to their top, standing as tall as 5 ft and 11 inches. Though sarus cranes are adaptable birds, they primarily reside in wetlands, Eucalyptus-dominated woodlands and grasslands, and seasonally flooded Dipterocarpus forests. Sarus cranes are almost completely gray with a redhead. They’re additionally territorial and construct long-lasting pair bonds.
5. Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)
Peach-faced lovebirds are lovely unique pets native to southwestern Africa. Though there isn’t a big inhabitants in Florida, they’re current and regarded an invasive species. It’s possible the peach-faced lovebirds present in Florida had been as soon as beloved pets launched into the wild. Peach-faced lovebirds are additionally known as rosy-faced lovebirds. They’re very social, vocal, and pleasant birds. Coloration varies, however most peach-faced lovebirds are colourful with blush-pink faces and throats. Their rumps are primarily blue and inexperienced.
6. White-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus)
The white-winged parakeet is a lovely chook, typically taken as a pet. These gorgeous birds are native to the Amazon River basin, particularly from southeast Colombia to the river’s mouth in Brazil. White-winged parakeets aren’t native to Florida however have a longtime inhabitants in Miami, Florida, and Puerto Rico. They’re additionally present in Lima, Peru, possible from being launched as pets. These birds primarily eat ripe fruits and seeds, however feral white-winged parakeets eat blossoms, nectar, and chook seeds from chook feeders. As pets, they’re pleasant and type bonds with their human handlers. They’re recognized to remain near their homeowners, even nesting of their hair.
7. Hispaniolan Inexperienced Anole (Anolis chlorocyanus)
For those who’ve ever visited Florida, you’ve possible noticed a Hispaniolan inexperienced anole. They’re all over the place and are often known as the Tiburon inexperienced anole. Whereas these vibrant inexperienced anoles are discovered all through Florida, they’re solely native to Haiti, particularly the Tiburon Peninsula. For years, scientists believed that Hispaniolan inexperienced anoles had been native to all of Hispaniola together with the Dominican Republic, however in line with a 2020 examine, that is unlikely. Now, as an alternative of 1 species, there’s one other inexperienced anole species, the Dominican inexperienced anole. Hispaniolan inexperienced anoles had been launched to the everglades and unfold shortly.
8. Purple-tailed Boa (Boa constrictor)
One other non-native species in Florida is the red-tailed boa, often known as the boa constrictor. It’s native to tropical South America and is without doubt one of the most well-known invasive reptiles in Florida. They’re giant snakes, generally reaching previous 14 ft lengthy. Curiously, most of the longer snakes reside in captivity. Purple-tailed boas are nocturnal and reside alone. They’re impartial snakes however sunbathe throughout the day. Purple-tailed boas had been launched to South Florida, and are a longtime species within the Miami-Dade space. These giant snakes have a novel sample with spots, that darken crimson the nearer to their tail.
9. Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
One other Florida invasive species is the Cuban tree frog, which is native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. They’re distinctive frogs with large diets, which has helped them set up populations throughout the Americas. Cuban tree frogs are all over the place in Florida, particularly in city areas as a result of they devour absolutely anything. Cuban tree frogs had been first found in North America within the Nineteen Thirties. It’s thought they got here aboard ships from the Caribbean to Florida throughout the 1800s. Puerto Rico additionally struggles with Cuban tree frogs as these giant frogs compete with native coquis. Cuban tree frogs pose a biodiversity menace and compete with the American inexperienced tree frog and the squirrel tree frog.
10. Brown Hoplo (Hoplosternum littorale)
Brown hoplo fish are native to japanese South America. Though they aren’t initially from Florida, these giant fish have been launched to the Indian River Lagoon in Florida. They’re common fish for anglers because it has a scrumptious taste. Brown hoplo fish is about 9.4 inches lengthy with armor plates. Whereas we aren’t positive how or when brown hoplo fish had been dropped at Florida, they had been first recorded within the mid-Nineties. Now, you’ll be able to primarily discover these fish in central and south Florida. They’re straightforward to identify since they flip on the floor of the water when dashing to gulp air.
11. Purple Imported Hearth Ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Purple imported fireplace ants are aggressive, and whereas they’re discovered all through Florida, they’re native to South America. These indignant fireplace ants have darkish brown and vibrant crimson our bodies. Whereas these fiery ants have a protracted and wealthy historical past, they had been solely first described in a 1916 journal article written by Swiss entomologist Felix Santschi. These giant ants are thought of the worst invasive species on the planet and select disturbed areas. Purple imported fireplace ants first got here to america between 1933 and 1945 in cargo ships to the seaport of Cellular, Alabama. Not solely are these ants throughout Florida, but in addition Australia.
12. Scarlet Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
Scarlet milkweed, often known as Mexican butterfly weed, tropical milkweed, cotton bush, and redhead, has a local vary in southern North America, Central America, and South America. It’s primarily grown as a decorative backyard plant that pulls butterflies. These evergreen perennial subshrubs develop as much as 3.3 ft tall. The flowers develop in cymes with 10-20 purple, crimson, orange, and yellow flowers. Though they aren’t native to Florida, they had been launched. They’re additionally discovered all through Texas and Puerto Rico. Scarlet milkweed was first recorded in Florida in 1942, however it’s unknown precisely when the plant was established.
Abstract of Invasive Species in Florida
|Frequent Title||Scientific Title||Kind||Origin|
|Wild Hog||Sus scrofa||Mammals||Wild hogs are native to Eurasia and North Africa however are frequent all through the Americas.|
|Norway Rat||Rattus norvegicus||Mammals||Norway rats are native to Mongolia, the plains of Asia, and northern China.|
|Prarie Canine||Cynomys ludovicianus||Mammals||Prairie canine have a historic native vary from was from southern Saskatchewan to Chihuahua, Mexico.|
|Sarus Crane||Antigone antigone||Birds||Sarus cranes are native to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia.|
|Peach-faced LovebirdAgapornis roseicollisBirdsPeach-faced lovebirds are native to southwestern Africa, however they’re common unique pets.|
|White-winged parakeet||Brotogeris versicolurus||Birds||White-winged parakeets are birds native to|
|Hispaniolan Inexperienced Anole||Anolis chlorocyanus||Reptiles||Hispaniolan inexperienced anoles are native to Haiti.|
|Purple-tailed Boa||Boa constrictor||Reptiles||Purple-tailed boas are native to tropical South America.|
|Cuban Tree FrogOsteopilus septentrionalisAmphibiansCuban tree frogs are native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands.|
|Brown Hoplo||Hoplosternum littorale||Fish||Brown hoplo fish have a wide range, native to many locations like japanese South America.|
|Purple Imported Hearth Ant||Solenopsis invicta||Bugs||Purple imported fireplace ants are native to South America.|
|Scarlet MilkweedAsclepias curassavicaPlantsScarlet milkweed is a standard plant in america, with a local vary in southern North America, Central America, and South America.|