From ACES News comes this press release about a recent study that revealed just how little we know about the aquatic plants and animals that are sold in the USA. Biologists Reuben Keller and David Lodge looked at pet stores, fish markets, and plant nurseries and found three major problems (emphasis and bullets are mine):
- Some companies are selling known invasive species, as well as species recognized as potential invaders.
- Species for sale are often misidentified, or labeled only with a common name, making it difficult to figure out exactly what is being sold. One result of this is that invasive plants and animals are sneaking through...but perhaps what is worse is that some companies aren't even checking.
- Contamination! The abstract seems to be saying that ninety percent of the plants ordered by the researchers contained other plants or animals when they arrived!
This research was just published in the latest issue of the journal BioScience...sorry, only an abstract is available if you don't have a subscription - heck, I can't even get online access through my own university!
Thanks to John R. from Don Watcher for sending in a copy of the press release.
A final note: There are plenty of responsible companies out there that make the effort necessary to avoid selling or transmitting invasive organisms - so give your business to them, and let other companies know that you care about invasive species and don't want to buy them or accidentally introduce them to your own little corner of the world!