Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Exotic Invasive Species


Eurasian zebra mussels blanketing a river bottom, Asian silver carp leaping from the water, Brazilian water hyacinth choking-out native plants.......sounds like some bizarre museum exhibit.

Unfortunately these are actual examples of aquatic invasive species now in Illinois waters. In fact, a total of 89 species have been introduced into Illinois through a variety of pathways including recreational water users and the bait fish, plant and pet industries. Most of these species have had negative ecological and/or economic impacts.


To avoid similar future impacts, we must prevent the introduction of new invasive species and limit the spread of those already established. This can be done largely through outreach to individuals associated with each pathway. In partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant we are addressing several pathways through a variety of outreach activities and informational tools originating from our Lake Michigan Biological Station.


INHS scientists are also part of the Cooperative Pest Agricultural Survey, working to safeguard our nation's food and environmental security from exotic pests. Detecting and preventing the spread of species including Asian Longhorned Beetles, Emerald Ash Borer Beetles, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, Kudzu, Garlic Mustard, Giant African Snails as well as diseases such as Soybean Rust and 1000 Canckers Disease.


Examples of INHS projects addressing Exotic Invasive Species.


Asian Carp Chemical Barrier



What can you do to help prevent the spread of Exotic Invasive Species?





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