by Blake Newton, UK Extension Entomologist
This is a follow-up to a post on this blog from Julie Peterson a few days ago, where she mentioned an article about invasive species on the Yahoo! news page. This topic is also receiving some attention from Time magazine. They have just compiled a list of the Top Ten Invasive Species.
While I am glad to see this topic getting more attention, I was a little disappointed that only one insect (killer bees) made the list. On the other hand, it's hard to argue with the creatures that did make the list, including cane toads, gray squirrels, and starlings. But where's the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has killed tens-of-millions of ash trees? And what about the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a vector of many human and animal diseases, including West Nile Encephelitis and canine heartworm? Plus, there are lots of nasty non-insect invasive species that didn't make the list. Feral house-cats, who eat native songbirds and steal habitat from native predators. Bush honeysuckle, which out-competes native trees.
Maybe this list needs to go to 11...