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The State of the Bay Galveston Bay Area Project

Invasive Species

 Exotic species are defined as species existing in habitats outside of their native range. Invasive species are exotics that reproduce and establish in naturalized populations that negatively impact native species, habitats or ecological relationships. Invasive species are introduced unintentionally (i.e. accidental release) or intentionally (i.e. for a management purpose) and can have ecological, economic, and social repercussions.

The introduction by humans of non-native plants and animals into Galveston Bay and its watershed has been occurring since pre-history. Native Americans brought useful plants to their campsites. Early settlers brought domestic plants and animals that escaped or were released from culture, e.g. feral pigs. Over time agriculture experimented with exotic species that became feral, e.g. Bahia grass and Johnson grass. Later the horticulture industry sold ornamental plants that escaped from cultivation, e.g. Chinese privet and Chinese tallow. More recently an aquarium trade has distributed animals that have been released from captivity into the tributaries of the bay, e.g. armored catfish and channeled apple snail. Some species have been inadvertently distributed by international shipping, e.g. fire ants.

 

For more information on invasive species in the Lower Galveston Bay Watershed, visit:

Visit these sites for more information about invasive species:

 

 

 

Brazilian peppertree is a relatively new invasive plant found in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed. Image courtesy Victor Madamba, Texas Invaders Program.Brazilian peppertree is a relatively new invasive plant found in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed. Image courtesy Victor Madamba, Texas Invaders Program.

 

 thumbnail image of galveston bay invasive species risk assessment final reportGalveston Bay Invasive Species Risk Assessment: Final Report

 

thumbnail image of invasive plants field guide cover thumbnail image of invasive animals field guide cover
Galveston Bay Invasive Animal and Plant Field Guides

 
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