Invasive Species Speech
According to Daniel Simberloff ,author of Invasive species: What everyone needs to know there are about 7,000 non-native species present in North America, approximately 1,000 are invasive; while native species do out number invasive species they still manage to cause billions of dollars in economic and ecological harm each year.
Have you ever encountered an invasive species? Do you know what an invasive species is? According to the book Invasive species: Threats, ecological impact and control methods: a species is considered invasive or alien when it is not native to an area, but it becomes established and causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species negatively impact people, native species, and the environment. We as a society need to be aware of invasive species and work to slow the spread of invasive species.
Invasive species have a negative impact on people. There are many invasive species that are harmful to people and their pets. For instance, the cane toad, which was introduced from South America to the United States, is poisonous. The cane toad has been responsible for the death of numerous household pets. They also present a risk to young children who try and catch them as well as adults that try to remove them. The cane toad’s poison kills in about 15 minutes depending on the dose of poison and the weight of the person or pet poisoned. If the poison gets in a person or animal’s eyes they face the risk of permanent blindness unless they get immediate medical attention. Poisoning also occurs if the poison gets in the nose, mouth, or open wound. When removing an invasive species it is always important to wear protective gear.
In addition to causing harm to people invasive species are also expensive. Invasive species removal ends up costing people large sums of money that could have been allocated to filling different needs. Removing invasive species from the Great Lakes costs an estimated $500 million annually. Jacob Hill, field and conservation biologist writes that the United States spends around $120 billion annually in control methods and in loss of environmental resources. Invasive species often present a danger toward people; however they can also present a danger towards the native species of animals.
Jacob Hill states that “Invasive species are the second largest cause of species extinctions in the United States”. For instance, the Burmese pythons that now live in the Florida everglades; have been responsible for the death of numerous threatened and endangered bird species that are native to the everglades. If the Burmese pythons continue to hunt the native threatened and endangered bird species it is likely that some of those species will go extinct.
Some invasive species have been known to alter habitats to fit their needs; these changes often make the habitat unsuitable for native species. For instance, beavers when relocated to South America multiplied until they numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The beavers then built dams in drainage ditches of grasslands. Native species were often found dead in these ditches after they fell in not expecting a sudden habitat change and could not get out. Invasive species are often dangerous towards native species. In addition to having a negative impact on native species, invasive species also impact the environment.
There are many invasive species that threaten not only people and native species, but also the environment. The kudzu vine was introduced from Japan in the 19th century as an ornamental plant. However the plant was distributed across the Southeastern United States as a means of erosion control and as a food source for grazing animals. The kudzu vine quickly became known as “the vine that ate the South” because of its ability to overgrow entire forests preventing sunlight from reaching the trees. The lack of sunlight combined with the weight of the vines on trees has caused the death of many forests in the Southeastern United States.
Some invasive species change the environment they live in to fit their needs. For instance the beavers from South America destroyed whole sections of forest to the point where they look like they have been hit with a bulldozer. The beavers have created ponds that flood sections of forest and these bodies of water have in turn altered the nutrient cycle in the environment. The negative impact of invasive species on the environment affects everyone.
Everyone can help prevent the negative impact of invasive species. You can fight invasive species by turning unwanted pets over to an animal shelter, through educating those around you about invasive species, only growing native plants in gardens, and becoming a field observer with the Outsmart Invasive Species app. According to Charles Bargeron, creator of the app, the app allows you to submit photos and data on invasive species that you locate to the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The data provided allows the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health to better combat the threat of invasive species. In conclusion while native species do out number invasive species they still manages to cost the United States billions of dollars every year and harm people, native species, and the environment.