There are some animals in the ocean that are able to suck body fluids out of their prey, other animals that have such well-developed sensory systems that they can find and eat other animals in the dark, and some animals that can possibly endanger other species. Even an animal the size of your fingernail is destructing transportation devices for humans, and it is becoming harmful to many mussels and small fish in the ocean.
There are many animals and plants in rivers that people know little about. When these animals and plants live in a region where they did not first appear, they are called nonindigenous, or nonnative, species. An animal that lives in a region where it first appeared is called a native species. When nonindigenous species live in a habitat with native species, they may endanger native species in many different ways. Many people, such as scientists, are trying to reduce numbers of nonindigenous species because they endanger or cause problems for native species.
The sea lamprey is an eel-like fish that has an ability to suck body fluids out of its prey. It is very dangerous to many native species. If no one helps to stop the spread of the sea lamprey, it can kill many large fish species, like trout. Click on "Sea Lamprey" at the bottom of the page to learn more about it.
When the round goby invades the Great Lakes, it will wipe out our native fish species. We must try to kill this nonnative species and save our native fish. To figure out how to wipe out the round goby, click on the button at the bottom of the page.
Many water plants, like cattails, are in danger because of an invading plant that is taking over their space. Native animals, such as beavers, are having their food supplies destroyed by purple loosestrife, and therefore, it is a dangerous plant. To learn how purple loosestrife is damaging other native plants, click on "Purple Loosestrife" at the bottom of the page.
Out of many nonnative species, there is a small one that can cause big problems for mussels and humans. Although they are the size of your fingernail, zebra mussels can destroy transportation for humans and endanger native species of mussels. To learn how these animals hurt the environment in the U.S., click on the button on the bottom of the page titled "Zebra Mussels."
When fish swim by an Eurasian ruffe in the dark, the Eurasian ruffe may attack it. Many native fish are not able to detect other fish like this. This is harmful to many native species populations. To learn more about this animal that takes over U.S. lakes, click on the button that says "Eurasian Ruffe" at the bottom of the page.
Bibliography for All Nonnative Species
Brenner, Dave. Personal interview. 22 February 2002.
Fetterolf, Carlos. "Sea Lamprey in the Great Lakes." http://biology.usgs.gov/s+t/SNT/noframe/gl129.htm Last Visited: February 2002.
Harber, Erich. "Invasive Exotic Plants of Canada." http://infoweb.magi.com/~ehaber/factpurp.html Last Visited: February 2002.
Heinz, Randy. Personal interview. 22 February 2002.
Michigan Sea Grant. "Project Background." http://www.miseagrant.org/pp/the_project.html Last Visited: February 2002.
Sea Grant. "Zebra Mussels and Other Nonindigenous Species." http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakes/glnetwork/exotics.html. Last visited: February 2002.
Steven Hart, Lois Wolfson, Michael Klepinger, Howard Wandell, and Donald Garling. "Aquatic Exotics in Michigan Lakes." http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ogl/exotic4.pdf Last Visited: February 2002.
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. "Round Goby." http://seagrant.wisc.edu/greatlakesfish/roundgoby.html Last Visited: February 2002.
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center. "What are UMESC Scientists Doing to Help?" http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/exotic_species/round_goby.html Last Visited: February 2002.
USGS (Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center). "Zebra Mussels." http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/exotic_species/zebra_mussels.html. Last visited February: 2002.