Invasive Species

Exotic Species News -- ScienceDaily Learn how invasive species threaten ecosystems. Read current research on biodiversity loss due to introduced species and more.

  • New research on avian response to wildfires
    on June 22, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied. […]

  • California Aedes mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America. Now, researchers have shown that invasive mosquitoes in California -- where cases of Zika in travelers have been a regular occurrence in recent years -- are capable of transmitting Zika. […]

  • Beetles exploit warm winters to expand range, study confirms
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    A new study confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth. […]

  • Factor important for ZIKA Virus host species restriction
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    In 2013 and 2015, devastating outbreaks of ZIKA captured world attention. The virus is often transmitted from wild animals -- probably non-human primates -- via mosquitos to humans. This is the first comprehensive study to investigate which mammal species may host the ZIKA virus (ZIKV). […]

  • Pesticide-free way to combat mosquitoes and West Nile
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Researchers may have discovered a new, pesticide-free way to limit mosquito populations in some area and reduce the spread of the West Nile virus. […]

  • Primates in peril
    on June 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Primates are fascinating. They are intelligent, live in complex societies and are a vital part of the ecosystem. Lemurs, lorises, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys and apes are our closest biological relatives and just like them, humans are also primates. However, while the human population spread to all corners of the earth, many of our closest relatives are under serious threat. […]

  • Brromeliads contribute to mosquito breeding in Miami
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    With vector-borne diseases posing an increasing public health threat to communities in South Florida and elsewhere, a new study led by public health researchers has revealed that ornamental bromeliad plants contribute to breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito -- a key culprit for the Zika outbreak that hit Miami-Dade County and other areas of Florida and the Americas in 2016. Aedes aegypti was the most dominant species of mosquito in the study's test sites. […]

  • Five new species of snail-sucking snakes discovered
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

    New research has uncovered five new species of snakes in Ecuador and Peru with peculiar dining etiquette: they suck the viscous bodies of snails out of their shells. […]

  • Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    99-million-year-old amber fossils from Myanmar provide the earliest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests. […]

  • Deadly fungus found for first time in critically endangered amphibian species
    on June 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    A fungal pathogen which has led to the extinction of entire species in South America has been recorded for the first time in critically endangered amphibians in India. […]

  • British mammals' fight for survival
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to a recent comprehensive review of their populations. […]

  • Original habitat is best, but restoration still makes a big difference
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    A new study presents some of the best evidence to date that restoration efforts in Missouri's Ozark Highlands make a difference for nesting songbirds that breed there. Recent studies support that these efforts are making a positive impact on the ecosystem and increasing the survival of bird species that breed there. […]

  • Citizen science: A powerful tool to combat invasive giant slugs
    on June 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    With the help of citizen science, researchers have unraveled the close correlation between weather conditions and the appearances of a giant slug species, enabling them to predict the slug's activity on the following day. […]

  • New insight into why Pierce's disease is so deadly to grapevines
    on June 9, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Scientists are gaining a better understanding of Pierce's disease and how it affects grapevines. The disease, which annually costs California more than $100 million, comes from a bacterium called Xylella fastidiosa. […]

  • Dogs can detect agricultural diseases early
    on June 9, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Laurel wilt disease has had a devastating effect on the avocado industry in South Florida in past harvest seasons. Early detection can be instrumental in deterring a widespread infection. The use of scent-discriminating dogs has shown to offer the avocado industry legitimate signs of hope in their fight against the spread of the disease throughout their groves. […]

  • Nutritional quality of fish and squid reduced by warm water events
    on June 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    The nutritional quality of fish and squid deteriorates under warm water events, research reveals -- with implications for the marine environment, marine predators and fisheries capturing food for human consumption. […]

  • Populations of widely spread tree species respond differently to climate change
    on June 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    A new study shows that not all populations of a single, widely spread tree species respond the same to climate change, something scientists will need to consider when making climate change projections. […]

  • Dolphins deliberately killed for use as bait in global fisheries
    on June 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Ahead of World Oceans Day, new research exposes the practice of killing of aquatic mammals, including some listed as endangered, for the express purpose of securing bait for global fisheries. The practice is widespread globally, but most common in Latin America and Asia. The study reveals there is little information on the impact of this harvesting on targeted mammal populations and urges increased monitoring. […]

  • Desert bighorn sheep are crossing Interstate 40 in California
    on June 6, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Desert bighorn sheep are able to climb steep, rocky terrain with speed and agility. New research shows that they can cross a four-lane highway. […]

  • Pollution hits the fungi that nourish European trees
    on June 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Pollution is changing the fungi that provide mineral nutrients to tree roots, which could explain malnutrition trends in Europe's trees. […]

  • Scientists make normal bees behave like 'killer bees'
    on June 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Africanized honeybees, commonly known as 'killer bees,' are much more aggressive than their European counterparts. Now researchers have examined neuropeptide changes that take place in Africanized honeybees' brains during aggressive behavior. The researchers also showed they could turn gentle bees into angry ones by injecting them with certain peptides. […]

  • For disappearing Bicknell's thrushes, statistical models are lifesavers
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Bicknell's thrush has been identified as a globally vulnerable Nearctic-Neotropical migratory bird in need of serious conservation efforts. Males and females use different habitats in winter, with females preferring middle elevation forests that are more vulnerable to human disturbance than the higher, more remote forests used by males. A new study identifies key habitat for females in the remaining fragmented montane wet forests of the Dominican Republic. […]

  • Invasive species of coral boasts amazing capacity for regeneration
    on June 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Colonies of sun coral multiply rapidly, driving native corals out. Scientists investigate whether the rising of oceanic temperature, combined with increasing activity of the oil and gas industry, might be favoring the invasive species. […]

  • Study in Fiji finds that removing sea cucumbers spells trouble for shallow coastal waters
    on June 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    The sea cucumber's unimpressive appearance belies the outsized role these creatures play in converting decomposing organic matter into recyclable nutrients and keeping coastal ecosystems healthy and clean, and overfishing them can have negative impacts on coastal marine environments, according to a new study focusing on a species of sea cucumber called a sandfish. […]

  • Surprising resurgence of red spruce likely result of cleaner air and warmer winters
    on June 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    When scientists found a resurgence of red spruce in northeastern forests, they had a lot of questions. Fifty years ago, red spruce was the equivalent of a canary in the coalmine signaling the effects of acid rain on forests. Researchers have identified two factors behind the tree's surprising recovery: reduced inputs of acid rain and warmer fall, winter and spring temperatures. […]

  • What the size distribution of organisms tells us about the energetic efficiency of a lake
    on June 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    The size distribution of organisms in a lake facilitates robust conclusions to be drawn on the energy efficiency in the food web, as researchers have now demonstrated empirically. This relationship enables scientists to gain a better and more direct understanding of biological processes and disturbances that impact aquatic ecosystems. […]

  • Pacific rats trace 2,000 years of human impact on island ecosystems
    on June 4, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Rats were carried on ships as humans settled the remote islands of the Pacific. Analysis of the rats' remains reveals changes humans made to the island ecosystems. […]

  • Rare aquatic beetles: Species distribution models guide field surveys
    on June 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    The known range of the narrow-footed Hygrotus diving beetle, which also can fly, is in central Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin and one site in the Wind River Basin. The sites are small, intermittent streams with disconnected pools and contain high concentrations of salt. These streams are in shortgrass prairie ecosystems that receive less than 400 millimeters of precipitation each year. […]

  • Toxic toad invasion puts Madagascar's predators at risk, genetic evidence confirms
    on June 4, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    The recent introduction of the common Asian toad to Madagascar has led to fears that the toxic amphibian could wreak havoc on the island's already severely threatened fauna. Now, researchers report genetic evidence showing that those fears are well founded: virtually all predators native to Madagascar are highly sensitive to toad toxins. If they should eat the toads, it would be a potentially fatal mistake. […]

  • Biosecurity reduces invasions of plant pathogens over a national border
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    A new study examines more than a century of fungal pathogens, finding well-aimed biosecurity measures cut the spread of unwanted fungi into a nation, even in the face of increased globalized trade. […]