Know your pets: Prevention against future IAS

Awareness is important in the prevention of pets from becoming invasive species. Knowing the type of animal, and if the animal is even a pet can help prevent invasive destruction.  Disruption of ecosystems, public safety hazards, and the introduction of foreign disease are also possibilities with exotic animals that are considered pets.

Some animals that are considered marketable pets can turn invasive. If an animal has a high reproductive rate and is adaptable, it can turn invasive because it can thrive as a species. Exotic animals like red lionfish and green iguanas have become a problem to the ecosystems, into which they are released by negligent pet owners.

Non-native species compete for resources of native species and outcompete them as well. The lionfish and giant african snail have a history of being kept as pets. It does not make for a good community fish in a non-native habitat, therefore, lionfish pets should never be released. Lionfish can also cause marine ecosystems to become unbalanced as they consume an abundance of 50 different fish species.

The Giant African Snail was once considered a pet. They still are. However, these molluscs should not be kept as pets. They are dangerous, destructive, invasive, and illegal to bring into most countries. In the Caribbean, the Giant African Snail is a well-known destroyer of agriculture and local farming. These snails are also carriers of rat lungworm which begets Meningitis.

Sources : – AgEconSearch –