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Invasive Species: Introduced or Accident?

Invasive Species: Introduced or Accident?

Brief Description:
Introduced species become invasive problems when they multiply rapidly and/or have no limiting factors – predators, diseases, competition – that slows their spread. Some species have been introduced intentionally either sometime in the distant past or more recently to serve a purpose. European honey bees were intentionally introduced to pollinate the crops that Europeans brought with them as colonists to the news world. Honey bees became an invasive species but a species that we depend upon to help produce most of our fruits and vegetables. Africanized honey bees were accidentally introduced. While being researched in South America they became free and have traveled north into the United States. This lesson will examine the intentional and unintentional introductions of species that become invaders.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  1. Identify invasive species that were intentionally introduced to serve a purpose in the landscape, food system or fill another need; and
  2. Detail the steps to ensure that species introduced today do not become invaders.