Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ spark conservation row

Read the full story in Nature.

Researchers worry Colombian environment ministry will side with animal-rights activists rather than curb the invasive animals’ spread.

Invasive rusty crayfish appear to be dying off and it’s not clear why

Read the full story in Newsweek.

Populations of rusty crayfish, an invasive species in the lakes of Minnesota and Wisconsin, have seen a steady decline in some regions—and, for once, humans aren’t responsible.

A study published in the journal Ecological Applications on February 11 found that over a 33-year period, the rusty crayfish population in several northern Wisconsin lakes had decreased naturally without human input, dropping to nearly zero in four of the lakes.

Armed with flea meds, Michigan defends hemlock trees against deadly invader

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

The hemlock wooly adelgid, an aphid-like invader, threatens Michigan’s 170 million hemlock trees. With help from chemical treatments and Michigan’s cold winters, workers aim to keep the pest at bay. Climate change threatens to give the pest a better foothold

The Black carp now established in parts of the Mississippi River basin

Read the full story from Northern Public Radio.

The Black carp, one of four invasive species of carp in North America, has made it into the Mississippi River basin.

A new multi-year report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found the range of Black carp in the Mississippi River basin now includes the entirety of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and the southeastern edge of Iowa, near Keokuk.

The Black carp is a large species of fish endemic to parts of east Asia, typically growing over three feet long and weighing over 100 pounds. The fish was deliberately brought to the states during the 1970s as a means of pest control for aquatic snails in fish ponds. The population quickly grew out of control.

Invasive species aren’t always the ‘boogeyman,’ biologists say

Read the full story at Treehugger.

From wild rabbits to zebra musselsAsian carp to kudzu, many invasive species have caused harm to the ecosystems where they’re introduced. 

Although sometimes they arrive accidentally, often they are brought in to “fix” another problem. The red fox, for example, was released in Australia to deal with the wild rabbits which earlier settlers had brought with them to remind them of home.

But not all of these non-native species have negative impacts, a new review article suggests. Most research focuses on the negative effects instead of considering a more balanced approach.

SIU researchers seek to use invasive copi as baby food for farm-raised yellow perch

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University.

Caring for a human baby is hard. Two researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will tell you raising “infant” fish may be even more challenging.

Karolina Kwasek and Michal Wojno are trying to find better ways to hatch and successfully raise yellow perch to the juvenile stage in aquaculture. A married couple with a baby of their own, they use research methods that combine low-tech hatchery equipment, easily copied by professional fish farmers, with creating a new feed that uses the invasive species copi as a protein source.

The research will last through 2023. Success would mean greatly increasing yellow perch’s survival rates at indoor hatcheries, leading to business expansion for more aquacultural ventures and better prices for consumers.

Millions to keep invasive fish out of the Great Lakes, but who is protecting the Mississippi River?

Read the full story from Northern Public Radio.

Federal and state agencies spend millions of dollars every year to keep destructive invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, at least 25 destructive species — like water fleas and bloody red shrimp — are inching closer to the Mississippi River Basin.

Researchers track the invasive Asian tiger mosquito in Illinois

Read the full story from the Prairie Research Institute.

The exotic Asian tiger mosquito, known to transmit diseases to humans, is more widespread in southeastern Illinois than previously realized, according to Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) researchers who conducted a study on how invasive mosquito communities form and shift because of different land uses.

Australia’s catastrophic rabbit invasion sparked by a few dozen British bunnies

Read the full story in Nature.

Genome analysis shows that most Australian rabbits are descendants of wild rabbits shipped to near Melbourne in 1859.

What thrashes, poops out taco meat and is taking over the Midwest? Jumping worms

Read the full story from Harvest Public Media.

An invasive species of worm is making its way across the Midwest, but not much is known about how to manage them. Some gardeners have taken matters into their own hands.