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Invasive Species by Ms. Sarah

Hey Naturalists! 


This is Sarah and today, I am going to be talking about invasive species. Last week we talked a little bit about invasive plants, but invasive species don’t have to be just plants. They can be anything from the biosphere.

Invasive species are living organisms that aren’t native to an area and they cause harm. All around the United States there are invasive species. Here is one you have probably heard of in the Florida Everglades.

This is a Burmese Python that causes lots of destruction in the Florida Everglades. It doesn’t have any natural predators in the area, it eats pretty much anything smaller than it, and it thrives in that sort of climate. This is a good example of why invasive species cause so many problems; they out compete our native species.

Now this is far from the only invasive species in the United States. In fact, even in the Ozarks, we have several invasive species. This is everything from insects, mammals, birds, fish and plants. You have probably even seen some invasive species walking around your own town. Below are several different organisms. Can you guess which ones are invasive?

I will put the answers at the bottom of the page.

All of these invasive species did happen because of humans, but humans also do a great deal to help keep their numbers in check. This is especially true in areas where the area is protected. Have you heard of the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust? They help protect land in northwest Arkansas and part of that is managing the land. Many people volunteer and help cut invasive plants, plant natives, and make better habitats for our native animals.


Even you can make a difference in your own backyard. First, take note of what plants are growing and what animals are coming to your yard. Do you have any invasive species there? Next, you can start just by planting native plants or even make a nest box for native birds. Making sure that it is native plants and animals that are using your space helps our native species.


Invasive Species Answers:

  1. Brown-headed cowbird – Native

  2. Flowering dogwood – Native

  3. House sparrows – Invasive

  4. Japanese honeysuckle – Invasive

  5. Feral hogs – Invasive

  6. Yellow honeysuckle – Invasive

  7. Bradford pears – Invasive

Other Parent Resources

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The Ozark Natural Science Center is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) residential field science education center located in Northwest Arkansas.

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1905 Madison 1305
Huntsville, AR  72740