As part of an ongoing series, I want to introduce you to “The World of Invasive Species”! Perhaps you have never heard about invasive species so let’s start there first. As defined in Webster’s online Dictionary, invasive is – tending to invade; characterized by invasion; aggressive and in the medical terms tending to spread, especially tending to intrude into healthy tissue.
This sums up an invasive plant or animal species. Typically these animals or plants have been introduced into our country, state or city from another country where these plants and animals are kept in “check” by their home environment. In the “new” environment they are invading, they have no natural enemy to keep them from spreading and displacing native vegetation and/or animals. Take a look at this picture where a vine, like kudzu, has literally covered up all of the other vegetation.
This is a very good example of what an invasive plant species can do. The total displacement of animals that once used this area, including people, as well as killing the other vegetation that the vine has overtaken.
In 1999 to help stop and eventually prevent the spread of invasive species, Executive Order 13112 was signed on February 3. It “called upon executive departments and agencies to take steps to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, and to support efforts to eradicate and control invasive species that are established.”
The Order also created “a coordinating body — the Invasive Species Council, also referred to as the National Invasive Species Council — to oversee implementation of the order…”.
Our Government recognized that “coordinated action is necessary to protect the assets and security of the United States”. Executive Order 13112 was then followed up by Executive Order 13751 entitled “Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species” signed December 8, 2016. And this Order directs the continuation of battling invasive species through more coordinated Federal programs and also further defines and expands the Invasive Species Council.
This is our Federal direction concerning invasive species. Next time we will cover the State of Florida’s direction and plans.
If you are interested in reading the Executive Orders in their entirety follow this link: https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/laws/execorder.shtml
Or if you would like to see a more complete list of the Laws and Regulations surrounding invasive species and their control, UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants has a website with all of those links at: https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/resources/invasive-plant-laws/