Want a chance to be heard on NPR? Science reporter John Nielsen is prepping a story for next week's news on the "five most loathed invasive species in the world." There are only two rules to follow here: 1) Be specific and 2) No diseases. I'd like to add a 3) No fair saying "humans" - we're too easy a target.
What would you put on the list? If you want to give John a piece of your mind, drop him a line at 202-513-2781 or email him at jnielsen AT npr DOT org. He's especially hoping to hear from scientists, but everyone is welcome to participate. If you're too shy to share with public radio, let's get a discussion started in the comments!
Here is my list, which was awfully hard to make, because I love all invasive species equally ;-). In no particular order:
- Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) - The spread of this freshwater aquatic algae is near impossible to detect or control. It's all over New Zealand and was recently discovered in the Northeastern USA. I cannot think of an invader that would make resource managers feel more helpless or frustrated, and anglers are certainly peeved as well.
- Northern snakehead (Channa argus) - Hated widely because it is so charismatic, rather than for its impact. They've made two movies about this fish already!
- Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) - No one likes biting insects, especially ones that travel in packs.
- Mute swan (Cygnus olor) - Only because the amount that this species is hated by the people charged with managing them and people concerned with their environmental impact is directly proportional to the amount that this species is loved by animal rights activists and those captivated by their aesthetic qualities.
- The abominable feral kudzu hydrilla pig-carp. Okay, so this last one is a cop-out :-).