Invasive Species: Florida's Changing Ecosystem

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Florida’s changing ecosystem Florida’s ecosystem is forever being changed as we know it. Florida’s invasive species list is rapidly growing making it more difficult for native species to compete. Every day invasive species are released in Florida 's waterways, forest, and swamps wreaking havoc on the native plant and animal life. Everyday people are able to walk into a common pet store and buy their very own python, tegu, or a lionfish perhaps. Most of the people enjoy the animal at first, but they are not prepared for the future responsibilities that follow. They end up in your backyard, your local canals, and even in your neighborhood parks. We must find a way to stop this terrible issue. Pythons are a danger to Florida 's ecosystem.…show more content…
Lionfish were most likely introduced through the pet trade like the python. Although there is another theory that they were introduced by floating lionfish nest, it is rather unlikely considering that the nearest native range for them is the South pacific and the Indian Ocean around Australia and India. Lionfish were first reported off of Florida 's Atlantic Coast near Dania Beach in 1985. The lionfish 's habitat ranges greatly from 1 foot of water to 300 feet. It usually thrives in reefs but it is also easily found in hard bottom areas, mangroves, seagrass flats, and shipwrecks. This beautiful looking fish packs a punch: The fish has venomous spines that deliver an extreme pain that can last for days. In extreme cases, the venom can even cause paralysis. The LIonfish is an apex predator on the reefs using its fins to coral small fish and anything it can fit into it’s mouth into a corner before it strikes quickly swallowing it whole. The lionfish feeds on an array of over 50 species including ecologically and economically important species. ("Lionfish Biology Fact…show more content…
The majority of the invasive species are introduced through irresponsible owners letting their pets go. If there was a restriction on invasive species easily going out pet store doors, many pet owners would be saved the trouble. If a licence was required, inexperienced people would not even think to just buy an exotic species. With people already currently owning an exotic species that they can no longer handle, their is still an option for them. Every year in florida there is a pet amnesty day in many areas where you can take your exotic species to give up, no questions asked. Florida’s invasive species list is rapidly growing making it more difficult for native species to compete. If we all work together, we can keep our communities, our families, and our natural Florida

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