Invasive Species

This story was originally published on August 8, 2013. 

Jackson Landers grew up in a vegetarian household. Now he hunts and butchers much of his own meat. In the past five years, he's focused on hunting and eating invasive species.

In his book, Eating Aliens: One Man's Adventures Eating and Hunting Invasive Species, the 35-year-old Landers chronicles his travels around the country as he learns to hunt, butcher and eat various invasive species.

Florida has the most invasive species of any state in the country, and half of the insects, reptiles, arachnids and crustaceans imported into the United States come through Florida ports, that’s according to researchers at the University of Florida. So, in an effort to identify invasive insects before they become prolific, UF/IFAS has created the Florida First Detectors program. The idea is to train stakeholders like Florida Master Gardeners, nursery managers, and farmers to identify invasive pests. We’re joined by Dr. Amanda Hodges, a UF/IFAS Extension scientist and co-author of a new invasive insects identification guide to learn more about the program and how people can get involved. We're also joined by Ian Bartoszek, Wildlife Biologist/Science Coordinator with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to talk about his work with invasive reptiles like Burmese Pythons and the Argentine Black and White Tegu. And we'll learn more about FGCU's Campus Naturalist program with student Shawn Brunelle.

Exotic Pet Amnesty Day is this Saturday. Florida wildlife officials are touting the day as a legal alternative to release exotic pets that owners no longer want to keep.

They're beautiful - and they're deadly. And they're here. Lionfish are infesting waters around Florida, and there might be one tasty way to stem the tide of this invasive species.

Lionfish were  named for the beautiful mane of deadly stingers that surround their body. They were introduced in South Florida in the mid-1980's, and have since spread throughout the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast to New England. They're voracious eaters, outcompeting everything in their path.

State Program Records 500th Python Kill

Aug 18, 2017

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program.