It's Not Just Asian Carp: U.S. Identifies 40 High-Risk Species


A sampling of the 40 high-risk species. Via glmris.anl.gov.

Concerned about Asian carp? Meet the invasive cousins, you might say, of the monster fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a white paper on 40 high-risk species to watch out for, including the much-hyped bighead and other varieties of Asian carp. And they're not all fish.A white paper on the 'Feared 40' comes from the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, aka GLMRIS. Officials say the paper was done to catalog potential non-native species within the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, and aid in efforts to identify and analyze prevention and control technologies. In other words, the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes via the Chicago Area Waterway System is only the beginning.

These 40 species were identified as having "a high risk in that if they do disperse, the invaded ecosystem type would be moderately to severely affected by their colonization." They include fish, crustaceans, plants, algae, mollusks, protozoa, annelids, bryozoans and copepods. Ten species are high-risk to the Great Lakes Basin and 30 are high-risk to the Mississippi River Basin.

Some names you may recognize, like the northern snakehead, alewife and sea lamprey. There are plenty of scary names and mugs to go around, including the threespine stickleback, bloody red shrimp, cryptic algae and the tubificid worm.

You can download the full white paper as a pdf.

Fact sheets have been developed for each of the 40, including photos and information on ecology, habitats and distributions, and dispersal status. It's a great way to worry yourself to death.

What should be done to keep these out of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins? Scientists recently released a consensus paper, calling for a physical separation of the two basins. Meanwhile, new Asian carp DNA was just found beyond an electric barrier and near Lake Michigan.

More on Asian Carp and Invasive Species
Ontario Reacts to Live Asian Carp Spilled in River
Asian Carp Almost Migrate from U.S. to Canada, in a Big Truck
How Do Invasive Species Spread? From Rats, to Carp, to Kudzu...

Tags: Algae | Fish | Great Lakes