Tag archives for Invasive Species
Nine-banded armadillos are expanding into areas of the United States where they have never lived before. The animals have been spotted in South Carolina and Illinois, and experts predict that they may someday be seen around Washington D.C. or New Jersey! Why are the animals moving northward?
Colleen McDonough, a biologist at Georgia’s Valdosta State University, says armadillos have been moving north for a variety of reasons, including changes in land use and fewer predators, and not necessarily due to climate change. “Because this movement has been consistent over the years, I think it is a continuation [of a longer-term trend] and not directly the result of recent climate change,” she says.
Whatever the reason, these adaptable animals may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you!
Photograph by Bianca Lavies, National Geographic
The tamarisk tree was brought to the United States in the 1800s as a decorative tree, and it was also used to help stabilize the soil on rivers. The tree has thrived in the southwest, crowding out native trees. For many years, biologists have removed the invasive trees by digging them up or using herbicides In 2001, land managers began releasing imported salt cedar leaf beetles in an attempt to help stop the spread of the trees (tamarisk trees are also called salt cedars).
The beetles are doing their job more effectively than expected and have migrated up to 100 miles away from where they were released. Scientists are now concerned that species that have gotten used to the tamarisk trees may have trouble adjusting when the trees are gone. One example of this is the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, which prefers nesting in tamarisk trees even when there are other native trees available.
Iggy Arbuckle has tried a similar trick to eliminate invasive species in the Kookamunga! Watch the video on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
Have you seen ladybugs near where you live? Did you know that the ladybugs you see may not be from a native ladybug species? Over the years, native ladybugs have become rare, while species of ladybugs that come from other places have become more common. The Lost Ladybug Project is looking for native ladybugs (and counting invasive ladybugs, too) to find out why the native species are becoming so rare.
You can help by finding and photographing ladybugs! Visit the Lost Ladybug Project website with your parents to learn how to find ladybugs and send in your pictures.
Get the facts on ladybugs in the Creature Feature.
Photograph by Paul Garcia, My Shot
Photograph by Rebecca Joye
Several native ladybug species are disappearing and being replaced by ladybugs from other places. The nine-spotted ladybug and other species have become so rare that scientists are hoping kids can find some in their neighborhoods. Cornell University wants kids go out and search for ladybugs and send in pictures to include in their database. To find out how you can help, visit http://lostladybug.org.