Photograph of an apple snail.

Word of the Week: Invasive Species

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.

Photograph of an apple snail.
Photo by Jessica Shea

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.

Check out this photo on the Great Nature Project website. The Great Nature Project is an online collection of user-submitted plant and animal photos.

National Geographic Great Nature Project

You can search the photo stream of almost 400,000 images for other examples of invasive species. Create an account and join the Great Nature Project in documenting the world’s biodiversity.

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