Great Lakes Fact Sheet #7: Invasive Species

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File Size2.97 MB
PublishedMarch 9, 2013
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Ecosystems and Non-native Species
How did aliens become a part of the Great Lakes ecosystem?

Invasive species make their way into the Great Lakes by land, air and water. Globalized trade and increasing levels of human activity, such as industrial development, recreation and travel, have accelerated the rate of introduction and distribution of invasive species in the Great Lakes. Most invasive species can survive in a variety of climates, making it easy for them to thrive in a wide range of ecosystems. Once introduced, they can spread quickly as they often have no natural predators and few
competitors for food sources in their new environments. This can make it extremely difficult to eradicate them. For these reasons, the most effective means of addressing invasive species is to prevent their introduction.