Knock, knock! Aquatic invaders are at your door this Halloween Season
For information about the All Tricks, No Treats Halloween campaign, call 503-231-6946
This Halloween you might be expecting a parade of monsters, ghosts, vampires and werewolves to come knocking on your door, the scarier the better! But even more frightening is the knowledge that every day alien invaders -- nonnative aquatic nuisance species to be exact -- are sneaking into our lakes, rivers, streams and even oceans and these critters aren't polite enough to knock! They may not have fangs or three heads, but aquatic invasive species like Spiny Water Flea and Silver Carp are all tricks and no treats!
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes that everyone, from school teachers to recreational boaters, can help stop the zombie attack spread of aquatic invasive species. Our All Tricks, No Treats Halloween Campaign will share some great tips on ways to recognize the worst invaders and stop these ghouls unwanted species dead in their tracks. And if you're still considering your costume options for this Halloween, consider spooking your neighborhood dressed up as Rock Snot! Now that's scary!
Released aquarium pets threaten native habitats!
Pet owners may unintentionally create new invasive species threats when they dump fish tanks into the wild, or pets escape confinement. School programs may think it "humane" to release non-native species after class sessions are completed, but they can become destructive invaders over time. Don't be tricked into thinking release is the answer!
"Don't let the bizarre names trick you, take these guys seriously!" Ever wonder how invasive species are named? By nature, invasive species usually exhibit a competitive edge over native species within the habitats that they invade. Words like snake, gorilla and lion represent some superior competitors, those animals that sit at the top of the food chain, and strike fear into many a young heart. Is it just coincidence that some really bad actors in the invasive species world share those names too? Spines, mittens, and zebra stripes emerge as well, making for some very bizarre invasive species names! !
"If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!"
We hope you packed your appetite, this week we're taking you on a picnic, invasive species style! The word "invasivore" comes from combining "Invasive Species" with the latin for "devour" as in "herbivore". Thus invasivore = one who eats invasive species. We've designed a menu full of options for a three-course meal with drinks as well! From Kudzu to Green Crabs to Asian Carps to Himalayan Blackberry, those invasive species in this week of All Tricks, No Treats will be sure to send a shiver down your spine, and maybe even a rumble in your tummy! Check out our unique recipes and get inspired to share your own here!
George Romero, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and other great storytellers have all recognized the power in frightening people. Alien attacks from outer space, flocks of birds that peck out your eyes, staggering zombies that never quite die; these all combine fear of the unknown with masses too numerous to be reckoned with. These movie themes remind me of something I experience once in a while... What is it? Invasive species invasions of course!
Invasive green crabs devouring native shore crabs, thick clusters of zebra mussels sneaking across state boundary lines attached to boats, and Japanese knotweed choking streams and rivers are all characters worthy of coverage in the next great horror movie classic. In fact, a few invasive species characters and one unusual blob creature have already found their way into the spotlight. Take a peek at the short films below, but be warned, the cast may scare the bigeezies out of you.
The old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" originates from newspaper editors and advertisement agencies who promoted their products using images on the sides of streetcars during the early 1900's. The saying rings true for many skilled cartoonists as well. Some have even captured the frightful scene of invasive crayfish swarming an angler and invasive mussels hitching rides across state borders. As images of ghosts, goblins, and haunted corn mazes become reality this week, consider what steps you can take to prevent the spread of invasive species into the Pacific Region from becoming reality.