invasive species (ihn-VAY-sihv SPEE-seez) noun. type of plant or animal that is not indigenous to a particular area and causes economic or environmental harm.
A participant during a BioBlitz in Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park found this apple snail. Apple snails are native to South America. They likely entered the ecosystem around Jean Lafitte when they were released from someone’s aquarium. As an invasive species, apple snails eat a lot of native plants, which alters the local habitat. Apple snails also reproduce quickly, edging out the native species they compete against.