Protecting Florida’s Diversity
Florida local critters are being threaten by non-native species otherwise known as invasive species. These invasive species, are not originally from around these parts. Although, not all invasive species harm our local critters, they can have lasting effects on our ecosystem. However, you can help protect our diversity by following these tips.
1. Keep an Eye out for Me!
Hi, I am a Burmese Python. I'm originally from South Asia and I can grow up to 20 feet in length. I tend to blend in very well with my surroundings. If you do spot roaming around please call the Florida Wildlife Conservation Comission's Exotic Species Hotline at 1-888-483-4681. They will come take me so I don't eat things I am not suppose to.
Hi, I am a Lionfish. You will only see me if you venture into the deep blue ocean. If you do spot me, use caution because I have venomous spines. I use to be only found in the waters surrounding Florida and Indo-Pacific Seas, but now I'm appearing across Atlantic coast. I can't help but eat things I'm not suppose to. This leads to me out competing the local species. However, I taste yummy and if prepared correctly I can be a delicacy.
Hi, I am a marine algae, I specifically go by Caulerpa brachypus. I ventured here from the Pacific Ocean probably on someone ship. I love the nutrients provided by runoff, they allow me thrive around these parts. However, the local species seem to be paying the price. I can out compete the local marine algae, phytoplanktons, and I can be toxic to the local veggie eaters. The good news you can stop me. If you see me, remember me, collect me, and contact the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection(FDEP).
For a full list of how you can help please follow the link:
2. Be responsible
Pet Owners: Pets can be our loving companies, however some may find themselves in a situation where they can no longer care for a pet. Although releasing them into the wild may seem like a logical route, it is not. The release of a non-native species into an new ecosystem may have adverse effects. Organizations like the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program and the Humane Society can help find your pet a new loving home.
Exotic Species Hotline: 1-888-483-4681
Pensacola Humane Society: 850-432-4250
Plant Enthusiasts: People often don't think of plants as dangerous but they can be extremely hazardous for the environment. Local plants are often out competed by invasive species. These local plants serve as food, shelter, and hunting grounds for many species and without them the wildlife can suffer dramatically. However, you can prevent it by:
1. Be aware of a plants origins and its federal restrictions on transport.
2. Do not share exotic plants.
3. Ensure that water from your garden is not running off into lakes or streams that may carry seeds to other locations.
4. Completely dry or freeze plants before disposing of them in the trash. DO NOT COMPOST. Seeds are meant to endure adverse conditions including freezing and drying.
5. Educate yourself and other around you about the dangers of invasive plants.
3. Speak up
Plants and animals need your help.They don't have a voice, they have you. It is up to individuals, like ourselves to protect local ecosystem.
All data and facts pulled from: