Alien Invaders Threaten The Environment
This is not a story about UFOs or little green men from Mars, this is a story about a much more serious, real-life alien invader… Introduced plant and animals species.
Alien species attack the environment.
Alien species of plants and animals that are not indigenous or endemic to an area have become a very real problem for our environment.
With the invention of modern transport methods and the growing global trade industry, many plants, animals and insects have stowed away unknowingly to propagate their species in new and strange lands.
These non-endemic species don’t come with their natural predators in tow. As a result the invading alien species is able to propagate and breed without any hindrance whatsoever.
Alien Water Hyacinth invades Lake Victoria.
A great example was when a couple of young lovers in Africa decided to propagate Water hyacinths in their personal lake on private property in Africa. The water hyacinths escaped into the river system and ended up as an unfettered massive weed problem for Lake Victoria.
Within a short space of time the Water Hyacinths had taken over the lake causing devastation to not only the indigenous species but also to the health of the water in the lake. An environmental control was introduced to reduce the problem. The insect bored holes into the stems of the plant causing it to become diseased and eventually died. In this case the environmental control worked, in many cases the environmental control becomes a bigger problem than the alien that it was sent to eradicate.
Many introduced plant species thrive in their new habitat and take over entire forests and jungles as they self propagate in conditions that are unnaturally better suited to the health and viability of the species.
Alien termites invade U.S.
A very real example of a disastrous alien invasion was when a colony of Asian termites stowed away in packing containers at the end of World War II and made their way into the United States. Thriving on the timbers of residential homes without any natural predators the alien termites have become an incredible problem.
When we introduce alien species into a new location, either knowingly or by accident, the results on that natural environment is devastating.
The biodiversity of natural environments that have been invaded by non-endemic species becomes reduced in a very short time. The alien invaders often wipe out entire species in an area that was previously flourishing unhindered by a natural predators.
Many introduced fish species that are propagated in fish farms or for recreational fishing, escape into the river systems and feed on the native fish populations, devastating those populations and in some cases eradicating them.
Alien invaders have become a real problem for our environment and many scientists and environmentalists fear that the problem may have a knock-on effect, resulting in massive environmental changes and disruptions.
Although strict border controls are in place in many countries, many of the aliens breakthrough borders without detection.
Escaped or discarded pets add to the alien problem.
Another means that aliens managed to infiltrate natural systems is through exotic pet owners and breeders. In many cases a species originally kept as a pet escape from their enclosures and make their way into the environment. In some cases once the alien species loses its entertainment value for the owners, the owner simply releases it into the environment.
In the future we may see entire ecosystems destroyed by alien invaders.
Are you concerned that the environment is under threat from aliens?
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