One of the primary components of resource management at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is the removal of invasive species. What exactly is an invasive? According to Executive Order 13112, an invasive species is a non-native species (including seeds, eggs, spores, or other propagules) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health. There are varying degrees of exotic, non-native invasive, etc. but the term invasive refers to the most aggressive and persistent species, both in animals and plants.
But why worry about invasive species?
Some sources state that the annual cost of invasive eradication and management combined with economic losses due to invasives in the United States is $74 billion dollars; in Florida alone, taxpayers are spending milions! The longer the problem is ignored the more money that will need to be pumped into the war against these invaders. Plus invasive plants can limit land use now and in the future. In addition to the economic loss suffered, habitat and water quality are degraded. This impacts not only the wildlife but also human outdoor recreational uses of the land and waters such as boating, hiking, camping, etc.
At Corkscrew, removal of non-native plants and animals is an ongoing process. One way you can help is to volunteer with our resource management team.To learn more about the Audubon Florida's efforts in the war on invasives, please visit the Florida Invasive Species Task Force page.