What’s Invasive Where You Live?
Every invasive species has a native range, a place where it evolved alongside other organisms in that area and is a natural part of the ecosystem. But when a non-native species gets introduced to a new area, it can harm the native wildlife, economies, ecosystems, and human communities. For example, brook trout, a popular sport fish, are native to the eastern U.S. and Canada. In the 1800s, brook trout were intentionally introduced to the western U.S. to expand fishing opportunities. The species thrived in the West, at the cost of native fish. Introduced brook trout were likely responsible for the collapse of Lahontan cutthroat trout in Lake Tahoe in the 1940s and are contributing to the decline of the native cutthroat trout and bull trout in the northern Rocky Mountains. Due to these harmful effects on native fish, brook trout are considered invasive outside of their native range.
Swipe through for examples of invasive species in different regions of the country. And remember, what’s invasive in one region may be native (and not harmful) in another! Also, some of these species are invasive in many regions. If you’re interested in learning about the current geographic range of the species featured below, check out this resource.