There Goes the Neighborhood
If the northern snakehead does establish itself in the United States, it’ll join a rogue’s gallery of introduced species that threaten native plants and animals in and around water. Clockwise from top: A denizen of the East, the bullfrog now inhabits the West, where it eats more delicate local frogs. Nutria, imported from South America as a source of fur, devour plant roots in marshes along the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake. Asian zebra mussels, accidentally carried into U.S. waters aboard ships, have caused more than $1 billion in damage to pipes in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin since 1988. Amazonian water hyacinths clog Southern waterways. Aggressive mute swans from Eurasia take over native waterfowl’s feeding and nesting territories on the East Coast and Great Lakes.