Eng Comp 1 - Task 3

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Task 3 What are the effects of introducing non-native species to new environments? Throughout history, man has had a habit of introducing non-native species to new environments. Some have been introduced accidentally, others intentionally. The reasons vary widely from attempts to control other species, ornamental plants to buy or sell, erosion control, making the new place feel more like home, importing animals as pets, economic benefits, and creating game animals. If a non-native species will become an invasive species is often not understood until years after the introduction. Man’s continual interference in the natural distribution of species by introducing non-native species into new environments, whether intentional or accidental, has caused native species to become extinct or endangered, soil erosion, loss of wetlands, loss of biodiversity, and billions of dollars in damage. The nutria, or coypu, was introduced into Louisiana around 1937 for fur farming. The escapees resulted in wild populations. Later, more nutria were released into the wild by government officials to control other non-native species such as the water hyacinth and alligator weed. Since nutria live in the marshes and feed on plant roots, this leads to openings in the marsh’s vegetation, eventually converting the marshlands to open water. This is occurring at a rate of 25 to 35 square miles each year (U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, 2001). This loss of marshlands increases salt water intrusion into the marshlands and also decreases the natural defense against storm surge from hurricanes. Wild pigs, commonly known as wild hogs, or wild boar, are a non-native species of the Americas. The first pigs were brought here by Spanish Explorer Hernando DeSoto. In the time that followed, escapees provided for a wild population. Eurasian or Russian wild boar were
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