Croc Docs – Protecting Wildlife from Non-native and Invasive Species

May 8, 2023 | 0 comments

Today, we are talking about the impact of non-native and invasive wildlife when they are introduced into an environment.  What effect can they have on native wildlife and the ecosystem on which they rely.  Today’s guest is Paul Evans, a Science Writer and Outreach Coordinator at Croc Docs, a University of Florida team of biologists, ecological modelers, and outreach specialists conducting research in south Florida and the Caribbean.  As you can tell by the name Croc Docs, this scientific group has a special focus on crocodilian (alligators and crocodiles).  They are doing important research on native wildlife in south Florida as well as in the Caribbean.  They are helping address the challenge of non-native species that have been introduced into the environment, usually because they were kept as pets and either escaped or were released into the wild.  Some non-native species are invasive, like the speckled Caiman which is a type of crocodile indigenous to central and south America.  These Caimans can have devastating effects on the environment and the native wildlife of Florida.  Another highly destructive invasive species is the Argentine tegu, a type of large lizard which poses a serious threat to many native species like the American alligator, sea turtles and ground nesting birds.  Paul gives us insights into how these species were introduced to the area, what the Croc Docs are doing to address the challenges they pose and he will share a little bit about what people can do to help stop the spread of these and other invasive species.


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