Brief History: Invasive Species


Dozens of silver Asian carp, disturbed by noise from passing boats, leap from the Illinois River.

Not since jaws has a piscine predator caused such a commotion. Asian carp--which grow up to four feet long, feast ravenously on other species' food and have a nasty habit of leaping from the water to wallop unsuspecting fishermen--are threatening to take a bite out of the Great Lakes' $7 billion fishing industry. To reassure jittery local governments, the White House held an Asian-carp summit Feb. 8 and pledged $78.5 million to help keep the fish--brought to the U.S. in the '70s to rid catfish farms of algae--at bay.

Until humans learned how to build ships, the problem of invasive species--nonnative...

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