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- View the PDF Version: 10 Most Unwanted Arizona’s Invasive Animals and Plants
Origin – Eastern Europe and Ukraine
Prolific populator; Removes food/nutrients from water column, clogs pipes and water conveyance infrastructure, damages boat motors and marinas; Management/eradication costs can be enormous for power and water supply agencies. Dispersal by boats and equipment, pipes, canals, live wells.
Origin – Africa
Pervasive grass introduced for soil stabilization and livestock feed; Potential to severely alter Arizona’s desert landscape due to fire-carrying capability; Regrows quickly and outcompetes to replace native plants in disturbed areas. Dispersal by windblown seeds and rapid spread along roadways into the desert and rangelands/pastures.
Origin – New Zealand
Out-competes native Arizona snails for available food resources/territory; Very prolific and spreads quickly by floating and attaching to vegetation to rapidly increase its range. Dispersal by boaters and anglers (waders, boating gear, fishing equipment, etc.)
Origin – South America
Caused severe, irreparable damages to economy/ecology in southeastern states and parts of New Mexico and California; Damages include total crop losses, nursery infestations, livestock depletion and harm to human health (stings/allergic reactions). Dispersal by plant trade and vehicular travel.
Origin – Asia
Widely established in southeast and
midwest U.S.; Aggressive biter carries diseases harmful to humans, e.g., West Nile virus, yellow fever and dengue fever; Detected in Arizona in 2000 and 2006 on imported, non-native plants. Dispersal by exotic plant trade (egg dispersal), back-yard containers, and transporting old tires.
Origin – Canada, south to Texas,
west to Utah, north to Montana.
Popularly used as bait and for aquatic weed control; Populations have exploded in Arizona due to no natural predators; Arizona has no native crayfish; Voracious appetite for larval fish, plants, and insects can severely harm ecosystems. Dispersal by bait buckets and aquarium discard.
Origin – Eurasia, southern Europe
Displaces native and agricultural plants
in rangelands/pastures; Grows and spreads in dense, impenetrable stands; Toxic to horses; Introduced to southwest as contaminant in grain seed. Dispersal by livestock, roadways, contaminated seed, and vehicular travel.
Origin – Eurasia, Mediterranean region
Weedy annual now common throughout southwest U.S.; Grows prolifically with winter rainfall; Substantially increases fine fuels on rangelands; Increases occurance and severity of wildfires. Dispersal by seeds spreading to disturbed areas along
roadways, rangelands, agricultural
fields and urban landscapes.
Origin – China
Introduced into U.S. for algae control and as a food fish; Currently well established in the Mississippi drainage; Can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh over 60 pounds; Adults outcompete juvenile sportfish (e.g., bass, bluegill) for planktonic food. Dispersal by bait buckets and illegal commercial transport.
Origin – South America
Pervasive aquatic fern that can greatly alter aquatic ecosystems; Forms very thick surface mats and completely blocks light and oxygen penetration; Impedes water flow, clogs water conveyance, and eliminates all other plant/fish species. Dispersal by boats, equipment, and natural downstream flow.
You can help stop these invasions!
Hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreationists can do their part.
- STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS by cleaning, draining, and drying
your watercraft and fishing equipment.
- DON’T RELEASE PETS into the wild.
- DON’T TRANSPORT LIVE FISH or other aquatic species for
- DON’T PLANT A PEST: clean your vehicle and hunting equipment
of plant parts/seeds and use native plants for landscaping.