The trouble with mudsnails
March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
As the LA Times so cogently tells us today, everthing about mudsnails is Tribble-like crazy: they can reproduce a bazillion times on their own (only a mild exaggeration) and are almost completely indestructible. Crazier still: this is just one of what seems like a bazillion invasive species (both plant and animal) that keep overrunning our wildlands, costing the state (and nation) significant amounts of money to deal with. Invasives compete with our native species and in some cases alter habitats completely. Different species have different effects, here’s just a few: they can eat up native fish eggs, reducing populations dramatically; drain the shallow groundwater table, wiping out riparian areas; send out toxins through their roots, inhibiting plant growth of natives that support wildlife; clog water infrastructure drains and valves; overtake hillsides, resulting in hotter and more frequent “brush” fires; or wipe out agricultural fields. And the agencies tasked with dealing with this are chronically underfunded.
With this post and the prior one on Stone Canyon Creek, it looks like it is Mark Ambramson Day here at LA Creekfreak. Not to diminish the Creekfreakiness of Jack Topel, another favorite Creekfreak at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, mentioned in the article. Jack’s been tracking those mudsnails and other invaders in coastal creeks for a quite few years now. Go Jack!
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