"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
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.
education focus of the program consists of a poster
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!
species may be one the most serious environmental threats of the 21st
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
Southwest Florida Watershed Council
For information or questions on Aquatic Nuisance Species contact John
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