Monday, May 11, 2015

May is Invasive Species Month

May is Invasive Species Month

While you're taking a few minutes to surf Facebook, Twitter, and who knows what else, remember that May is Invasive Species Month.  For some, you maybe asking, what is an invasive species?
invasive species

Invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms that have been introduced outside their natural habitat.   With little to no predators, this allows for high reproductive success which causes problems and destruction in their new environment both physical and economical.  The biggest problem we have is the number of invasive species.

Communities along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers think of Asian Carp when they hear invasive species.  Lake Michigan communities  think of Emerald Ash Borer or another aquatic species and those living in Southern Illinois outside the Shawnee National Forrest may think of the Bush Honeysuckle.  There are over 102 invasive species of plant and 25 non-native species of fish that have entered the Great Lakes since the 1800s.  The list keeps growing and our success at trying to eradicate these species is a slow and painful one.

Carp guide
Invasive species affect everyone including those that don't hunt, fish or enjoy the outdoors.  These species continue to spread and it has an economic cost.  For example, Asian Carp eat plankton and that leaves less for our native species.  If Asian Carp would get into the Great Lakes, the cost of fish could rise due to the fact that it takes more for fish to survive. 

As 21st Century Sportsmen and women, we have to do our part. Conservation is a part of who we are.  While we maybe doing better in some areas there are other areas we are losing.  Take some time call you're favorite DNR site and ask if there are any volunteer opportunities to help.  Or, better yet take a ride down the rivers and do some bow fishing.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors Good Luck and Stay Safe -
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