Aquatic Nuisance Species
Aquatic Nuisance Species Volume 2, Issue 7
Updated November 2002
The introduction of nonindigenous invasive plant and animal species to Maine’s coastal and inland waters is a source of biological pollution that threatens not only the fragile ecology of the region and the State’s vast water resources, but also threatens Maine’s economic, societal and public health condition. A newly introduced species, if it becomes established through reproduction, can disrupt the natural ecosystem’s balance by altering the native species’ composition, density and interactions. A recent report by the Ecological Society of America notes that invasive species can cause extinctions of native species and completely alter fire regimes, nutrient cycling, hydrology, and energy budgets in native ecosystems. Conservation experts, who track invasive plant infestations, for example, estimate that invasive plants cover 100 million acres in the United States and are spreading every year across three million additional acres – an area twice the size of Delaware (National Invasive Species Council 2000).
A recent federal report indicated that 45 ANS have been reported in Maine (Federal Aquatic Nuisance Task Force 2000).
More information about ANS is available from the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (207) 225-2070 and at http://www.anstaskforce.gov/species.htm
Special points of interest:
At least 45 species of aquatic nuisance species are already living in Maine.
It is illegal to transport aquatic plants in Maine.
It is illegal to transport live fish in Maine without an IF&W permit.