An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
Notable examples of invasive plant species include the kudzu vine, Andean pampas grass, English ivy, Japanese knotweed, and yellow starthistle. Animal examples include the New Zealand mud snail, feral pig, European rabbit, grey squirrel, domestic cat, carp, and ferret.
5 Invasive Species You Should Know
To be invasive, a species must adapt to the new area easily. It must reproduce quickly. It must harm property, the economy, or the native plants and animals of the region. Many invasive species are introduced into a new region accidentally.
Introduced to the United States with European colonists, the number of domestic cats has tripled in the past 40 years. Today, more than 100 million feral and outdoor cats function as an invasive species with enormous impacts. Every year in the United States, cats kill well over 1 billion birds.
When animals go extinct, their functions in an ecosystem can be lost, oftentimes leading to the extinction of other species that depend on those functions.
Invasive plant species often grow quickly in new environments, with high reproductive output compared to their native range. Expansion in growth area means that invasive species can relatively quickly find themselves growing across a variety of latitudes and different environments.
Ten of the World's Most Invasive Species
Mar 9, 2014
Are invasive species always bad? Maybe not, according to an increasingly common point of view among ecologists. A non-native species is defined as invasive if it causes substantial harm in its new range; just because a species is introduced by human action does not automatically make it invasive.
Here are ten of the most harmful invasive species now on the planet.
May 19, 2020
Domestic dogs are rated to be amongst the top five invasive animal species on Earth (Doherty et al., 2017).
Rabbits, though cute, are some of the world's worst invasive species. But new research shows that rabbits' vegetation-munching ways aren't the only way these mammals alter ecosystems.
The black rat, roof rat, or ship rat (Rattus rattus L.) is among the most widespread invasive vertebrates on islands and continents, and it is nearly ubiquitous on Pacific islands from the equatorial tropics to approximately 55 degrees latitude north and south.
Rats can swim or wade in the water for up to three days without drowning! They like to swim and are very good at it. A rat can survive being flushed down the toilet and might even get back into the same building by swimming back in the same way!
(Incidentally, the Rodentia does not include rabbits; rabbits differ from rodents in having an extra pair of incisors and in other skeletal features. Rabbits, hares, and a few other species make up the Lagomorpha. Shrews, moles and hedgehogs are also not rodents; they are classified in the Mammal order Eulipotyphla.)
Rats generally make good family pets but should never be left unsupervised with small children. Rats tend to be nocturnal but are active for periods during the day. They do not shed a lot and seem to cause few allergic reactions in people.
Yes. Rats! Rats have many of the disadvantages of other pet rodents: they're nocturnal, their cages need a lot of maintenance, they don't live a long time (1-3 years). But unlike other rodents, they're fantastically friendly and smart if they grow up being lovingly handled by human companions.
3. Rats make lifelong bonds with their owners Ask any rat owner, and he or she will tell you: Rats recognize their owners and respond to their sight and voice. They are very social and love to hang out with human family members on the couch or on peoples' shoulders or in their laps.
Rats and mice are highly intelligent rodents. They are natural students who excel at learning and understanding concepts. Rats are considerably smaller than dogs, but they are at least as capable of thinking about things and figuring them out as dogs are!