Plants, animals and other living things
that have been introduced to a place where they have not lived
before are known as 'invasive species' or 'introduced species'.
Some people call them 'exotics', which
makes them sound exciting and interesting to have around.
In fact, they are really bad news, especially for the 'indigenous
species', the native plants and animals that have always lived
Rats will eat anything, even cactus
Invasive species upset the
balance of nature. They may be bigger, stronger, faster growing or
more aggressive than the native species. Like conquering aliens from
a more powerful world, they spread quickly, taking over the land.
The native species, unable to compete with the outsiders after living
undisturbed for so long, are often driven out or killed.
No plant is safe from
a hungry goat
Introduced species are one of the biggest
threats to the future of Antigua's native wildlife. The Antiguan
Racer Conservation Project is restoring the natural balance
of Antigua's offshore islands by removing these alien invaders
(see Back To
The Future). This work is helping to save many other endangered
species (see Going, Going, Gone)
as well as the Antiguan racer itself.