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Top 4 Animals and Wildlife Invading The United States

Nutria via Pexels

Welcome to the Top 4 Animals and Wildlife Invading The United States. Did you know the number of invasive animals in the US is extremely high? And we can not ignore the harm they are causing the country in several ways.

Invasive species are increasing rapidly in different regions, causing economic and ecological harm to that particular region.

These invasive animals are species that are not native to the area, thus causing significant damage to their new environment by adapting to that area for survival. 

According to a recent report, more than 6,500 invasive species in the US threaten different organisms’ lives. The top 4 animals invading the United States are described in depth in this article. 

Top 4 Animals and Wildlife Invading The United States

Invasive animals in the United States are causing ecological and economic loss to the country. The top 4 animals invading the United States:

#1 Feral Swine

feral swine
Feral swine. Image via Pexels

Common Names:

Feral swine are piney woods rooters, pigs, hogs, wild, Russian or European boars, and razorbacks.

Russian Boars Are Native To:

Commonly Feral Swine are native to Asia and Europe.

European Boars Are Non-Native To:

These feral boars are non-native to America, mainly North America. Therefore, the eradication rate caused by this species is the maximum in the United States.

Ideal Habitat:

European boars shelter in woody forests, shrublands, grassy savanna regions, marshy swamplands, brushlands, areas near agricultural fields, and riparian zones.

How Feral Swine Came To the United States

In the early 1500, settlers and explorers brought them to the US as a food source. After a few centuries, in the 1900s, Previous people brought them to different parts of the country for sport hunting. Now they are present in more than 35 to 47 states in the USA.

Reasons For Considering Wild Swines As Invasive Animals:

There are specific reasons why they are considered harmful animal species for the country. These reasons are;

  • Russian boars cause the transmission of several diseases in humans and animals. 
  • They cause damage to physical properties such as gardens, lawns, trees, fences, aircraft, cars, motorcycles, and many other properties.
  • Wild pigs also cause rooting through their tusks and snouts to find food for themselves, such as acorns plowing green lands; therefore, they are also called rototillers of nature.
  • They also cause ruts that result in the loss and destruction of expensive essential equipment. 
  • European boars eat almost all kinds of crops; hence, they can become a source of diminishing plants near extinction.

Feral Swine Population In the US:

As this destructive animal, the wild swine is found in more than 35 states in the US; their population is increasing rapidly. 

According to a recent report, more than 6 million feral swine in the United States are increasing the rate of destruction and becoming a threat to various endangered plant species and humans.

3 Methods To Reduce The Destruction Caused By The Feral Swine:

Although there is no doubt that feral swine are like destructive monsters to the United States, there are specific ways by which you can reduce the destruction of feral swine by following methods.

  • By controlling the wild boar population.
  • Fence the crop and agricultural lands to stop the wild swine from entering the farmland to reduce billion-dollar loss
  • Hunting feral swine is also a great way, but it is banned in most states.

Due to their increasing population, the risk of destruction and loss is continuously increasing in the US. They have adapted to various ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, near agricultural fields, and brushlands.

Their razor-sharp teeth help them to destroy the crops. Moreover, the feral swine increasing population in about 47 states is alarming. Taking necessary precautions to control the harm caused by them through initiating different methods is primarily essential.

#2 Cats

cat catnip
Persian cat sniffing dried catnip. Image via Depositphotos

Another most invasive animals in the United States are house cats. It could be strange for many of you, but this is true. 

Many people have cats as their pets in their homes. But these cats are playing an essential role in invading the country and are thus categorized as one of the most invasive species in the US.

Other Names:

Domestic cats are called house cats, feral cats, and felines.

Area Of Cats Origin:

Various reports indicate domestic cats originated from Southwest Asia and North Africa.

How Cats Came To The United States:

According to Paul Koudounaris, when early colonists came to the United States, they brought many cats on the ships. The reason for bringing them was to protect the food on the boat from rodents. Cats were also the first animals employed by the United States army. 

Furthermore, US history explains that cats soon became pets instead of working animals. And now, they reside in millions of homes in the United States.

Favored Habitat:

Cats can adopt different habitats, such as forests, swamps, savannah, and farmlands, and cats are either wild or domesticated cats. Domesticated cats adopted living in friendly association with humans in their homes. The stray cats mostly roam in the streets.

Reasons For Considering Cats As Invasive Animal In The United States:

The cat around us is among the four animals invading the United States. Although there is not enough proof to show that cats are invasive, most research shows that cats harm the economy and ecology.

  • Various research shows that domestic cats kill almost 6.3 to 22.3 billion mammals and 1.3 to 4.0 billion birds yearly. Moreover, studies show that free-ranging cats have caused 33 modern mammal, birds, and reptile extinctions put down by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which is about 14%.
  • Many bird species are already eliminated from nature, and cats play a pivotal role in extinction.
  • Cats are also a source of carrying disease-causing agents with them to their homes.
  • Free-ranging cats also spread parasites and may destroy gardens and nests.

Domestic Cats Population In the US:

The cat population in the United States is at the extreme. There are about 60 to 100 million stray cats in the United States, and at least 82 million pet cats live there. 

Out of three homes, one house in the US has cats as pets, indicating the high population ratio of cats throughout the US.

Ways To Reduce The Destruction Caused By The Cats:

Although the loss caused by the cats is not as much as the devastation caused by other invasive animals, specific methods can still help reduce the risk of harm caused by the cats.

  • Wildlife management should place outdoor cats in cat sanctuaries.
  • House cats should be cared for and must be kept clean, and should be kept under control by the owners.

The cats are loved by many US citizens and are owned as pets. But one can not ignore their invasive nature. . 

#3 Nutria

Nutria via Pexels

Also Known As:

Nutria is widely known as swamp rats, swamp beaver, coypu, Argentine beaver, South American beaver, and river rats.

Land Of Origin:

South America is known as the first home of swamp rats.

Main Habitat:

Although nutria can live in different habitats, their favorite domain is regions close to water bodies such as freshwater marshes.

Nutria In The United States:

River rats first came to North America through fur traders in 1889. 

They took hold of various regions when they were released either intentionally or unintentionally in the Louisiana marshes in the 1940s when the nutria fur market collapsed and became invasive to the environment. 

They are spreading rapidly due to their increasing population.

Harms Caused By Nutria In the US:

As we know that invasive species cause harm in one way or another. Nutria are also invasive animals, so, therefore, they cause various damages. Some of the destruction caused by south American beavers are;

  • Cause water contamination.
  • Spread multiple diseases in animals and human beings, such as septicemia and tuberculosis. 
  • Destroy the crops and vegetation.
  • Damages the banks of lakes and water bodies. 
  • Cause harm to wetlands and marshes.
  • Transmit pathogens and parasites.
  • Cause loss to the plant’s root system because they are grazers.
  • The estimated value of sugarcane and rice damaged yearly by swamp rats ranges from a few thousand to more than $1 million.  

Also have a look at 13 Best Lakes In The United States For Fishing.

Nutria Population In The United States: 

Nutria is commonly found in 21 different states of the US, including California. Their population is increasing rapidly due to the lack of nutria population control mechanisms. 

Methods To Reduce Harms Caused By Nutria: 

Nutria is destroying the ecosystem as well as causing economic loss annually. The Nutria overpopulation is of significant concern. 

However, professionals must implement some adaptations to prevent the damage caused by the Argentine beaver to reduce further damage.

Some methods to prevent the harm caused by nutria are ;

  • Locate agricultural land away from water bodies 
  • Create fences
  • Control the vegetation
  • Drain the land.
  • Weeds management. 

Other ways include shooting, trapping, and using toxicants.

Nutria appear as rats and are spreading various diseases and now appear in multiple cities of the United State. Many marketers still use them to get their fur. 

#4 European Green Crab

Green Crab
European green crab. Image via Unsplash

Other Names:

European Green Crab is commonly known as the European shore crab.

Native Distribution:

European Green Crab has native Distribution in the Baltic Sea and the northeast Atlantic Ocean, ranging along coasts from northern Africa to Iceland and Norway.

Ideal Territory:

As European shore crabs are marine organisms, they primarily reside in estuarine and rocky intertidal areas. 

European Green Crab In the US: 

The European shore crabs were primarily introduced in the United States in the 18th century, likely spread through long larval stages in the ships hitching a journey in the ballast water of merchant boats from Europe.

European Green Crab Invading The United States: 

European shore crab is also considered among the top four animals invading the United States. 

  • European Green Crab is adversely affecting fisheries, estuaries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystems.
  • They destroy various seagrasses. 
  • They outcompete many species for shelter and food.
  • Badly impacts biodiversity.
  • Threatens many species.
  • A threat to tribal culture and the shellfish industry. 

European Green Crab Population In the US:

In 2021, above 102,000 European shore crabs were found along Washington’s coast and Puget Sound. It was a massive 5,500% increase from the 1,800 European green crabs captured just two years back in 2019. 

Not many studies show the exact population of European green crabs in the United States. But their presence is harmful to the country.

Preventing Damage Caused By European Green Crab:

There is no doubt that the European shore crab is affecting the lives of many living organisms and is a threat to many. 

  • Protection of biodiversity
  • Improving the other species population in the marine ecosystem
  • Bringing European green crab competitors to the area.
  • Proper management to maintain fisheries, aquaculture, and estuaries.

Although they are called European Green Crab, they could also be brown, yellow, or red. European green crabs are invading the United States and severely threaten different lives. These aggressive marine organisms are damaging the ecosystem.

Final Thoughts on Animals Invading The United States

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Invasive species cause damage to the environment and take full benefit from the surroundings. 

Most invasive organisms are not native and are brought from other regions. They adapt to the environment and adversely affect humans, plants, animals, and other living organisms.

Cats, European green crabs, nutria, and feral swine are the top 4 animals invading the United States. 

  1. Cats kill many birds and animals; thus a reduction in their overall population occurs. Moreover, cats spread various diseases.
  2. European green crab harms biodiversity, threatens many species, and destroys seagrasses.
  3. Nutria is another invading animal that causes water contamination, spreads diseases, and destroys the water bodies’ banks and vegetation.
  4. Feral swine eat various crops, transmit diseases, and cause rooting, thus invading different areas in the United States.

These four animals are invading the United States. However, many more species are also invasive to the United States and playing a huge role in destroying the country’s ecology and causing economic loss.

For more blogs featuring exceptional wildlife, look at the current extinct animals,  top 10 cutest animals, and the most endangered animals.

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