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"Release of wildlife into territory foreign to it involves, not a calculated risk, but a risk too great to calculate."   George Laycock, The Alien Animals


The purpose of the Southwest Florida Aquatic Nuisance Species Surveillance and Education Network is to increase public education on ANS, leading to a greater awareness of what an aquatic nuisance species is and the threats to the water resources of the greater Charlotte Harbor, Caloosahatchee and Big Cypress watersheds. It is expected that this program will reduce the number of intentional releases and establishment of ANS in our region.

The public education focus of the program consists of a poster distributed to pet shops, aquariums, bait, water related stores and schools.  The poster was designed to increase awareness of the ANS problem, advising viewers not to release exotics, and directs them to this site for more information.  This site describes the impacts of ANS and offers a Species list of ANS reported in the SW Florida , plus ID pages to not only help identify the species but also include introduction history and locations of ANS found or seen in SW Florida.

This site has a reporting form for tracking the occurrence, distribution and relative abundance of ANS in Southwest Florida. This approach will enable resource managers to coordinate and prioritize management plans for water resources of the region relating to ANS management. In addition this surveillance network creates an important sentinel for the early detection of potentially harmful ANS and the coordination of eradication efforts where feasible.

A locally based resource manager is available to assist with reported ANS identifications or coordinate with experts who can make or confirm the identification, verify ANS location reports with GPS coordinates, and to provide a general characterization of the ANS impact on a limited basis.

The scope of this project is ambitious.  It will be always be a work in progress.  Please have patience and check back often for updates.  Suggestions for improving the site are welcome, or if you spot an error, or bad link please report it.  Most importantly don't release exotics and report those found!  

 Latest ANS News

"Invasive species may be one the most serious environmental threats of the 21st Century."
Parade cover story 05/22/05

Freed Pet Fish Threaten Native Species, Study Says


What are Aquatic nuisance species (ANS)? ANS are nonindigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters. ANS include nonindigenous species that may occur in inland, estuarine and marine waters and that presently or potentially threaten ecological processes and natural resources. 


Learn how you can help stop the spread of ANS.

Have you seen or caught an exotic, report it.  Not sure what it is?  Check the ID pages on this site for help.  Keep it, store it or destroy it, but don't release it.    

  Or did a pet outgrow its home and you don't know what to do with it?  Methods of dealing with ANS are listed on the disposal page

Awarded for Educational Excellence by the Native Fish Conservancy


Southwest Florida Watershed Council

Contact Information

For information or questions on Aquatic Nuisance Species contact John Cassani, Project Manager


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This site was last updated on 11/05/2004