What are invasive species?
Invasive species are plants and animals that have been introduced into their current habitat, where they risk harm to native species. Whether these species are introduced accidentally or on purpose, they are invasive because of their potential to establish themselves at the expense of native plants and animals.
What is the difference between an invasive and an exotic species?
Both invasive and exotic species are not native to their current habitat. While invasive species are harmful to their surrounding environment, exotic species do not necessarily cause harm. Mute swans, nutria and zebra mussels are three invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Green crabs, sika deer and largemouth bass are three of the region’s exotic species.
How are invasive species introduced?
Invasive species can be introduced to an ecosystem in a number of ways. Sometimes, non-native species are introduced accidentally through human trade, travel and tourism. Other times, non-native species are deliberately introduced as pets, for recreation or to control pests.
Are there invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay region?
Yes. There are more than 200 known or possible invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
How do invasive species affect the Chesapeake Bay region?
After habitat loss, invasive species are one of the top threats to native plants and animals. They can cause harm when they establish themselves at the expense of native plants and animals, encroaching on their food or habitat.
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