Last week was National Invasive Species Awareness Week, dedicated to educating the public about the threat of non-native species. But conservation group Wildlife Forever wants to make sure you don’t forget that this battle exists every week of the year.
The organization released their “Top 10 Invasive Species Threats to Hunting and Fishing.” They’re calling the list “Wanted: Dead not Alive,” and we definitely agree with the sentiment.
Here’s their list:
- ZEBRA&QUAGGA MUSSELS
WANTED for devastating the food chain, reducing fish populations; destroying spawning habitat; encrusting boats and docks, and wreaking havoc on equipment and on fishing.
- ASIAN CARP
WANTED for taking over rivers and streams, replacing sport fish populations; impeding navigation and causing injury, even possible death, to boaters on the waters.
- CANADA THISTLE
WANTED for choking out native prairie grasses and plants; providing no food value; driving deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife out of traditional habitat.
WANTED for limiting access for boating, fishing and waterfowl hunting; dense beds destroying sport fish spawning grounds; out competing native plants and, once mature, degrading fishing.
WANTED for killing hardwood forests; eliminating native mast producing trees important to deer and turkey; choking woodland travel corridors and decreasing overall productive habitat.
- ROCK SNOT – DIDYMO
WANTED for smothering food sources for trout and salmon; covering spawning habitat and insect life with ooze; wreaking havoc on fishing and access to fishable waters.
- EMERALD ASH BORER
WANTED for destroying 100 million ash trees, creating loss of habitat and fire zones imperiling wildlife, humans and property. At stake, 7.5 billion trees.
- WHIRLING DISEASE
WANTED for killing trout and salmon. When death occurs, millions of parasitic spores release back into the water, which are virtually indestructible surviving for up to 30 years to kill again.
- FERAL HOGS
WANTED for wanton destruction of habitat; aggressively competing for acorns and mast with deer, wild turkey and quail; eating eggs of ground nesting birds; killing fawns and uprooting riparian areas.
- PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE
WANTED for eliminating productive fish and wildlife habitat to the tune of 500,000 acres of wetlands annually; offering no food value; reducing waterfowl nesting and fish nursery areas.
Here’s hoping their quest for killing goes well.