Paul Janensch (2012-01-16)
TREASURE COAST (wqcs) - Intro: A lizard and a snake are among the invasive species knocking on our door, as Paul Janensch reports in this Treasure Coast Essay.
Oh, no! At least 10 more invasive species of animals and plants are threatening to move into the Treasure Coast or already have been spotted here. Invasive means they are foreign to an area and overwhelm species that are native. Included on the list of new invaders made available by the Florida Forest Service are two reptiles - the Nile monitor, a lizard, and the Burmese python, a snake. Last September, a 3-foot-long Nile monitor wandered onto a dog park in Vero Beach and scampered up a tree. An animal control officer shot it with a dart gun and took it away. Burmese pythons have multiplied in the Everglades. In October 2009, a 9-footer was found in Vero Lake Estates. They can kill pets by squeezing them to death. As for invasive plants, the top three on the list are trees - the Monkey's Apple, the Chinese Tallow and the Camphor. If these unwanted flora are not eradicated, they will become as established here as the Brazilian Pepper tree, which spread rapidly, replacing desirable native plants, such as mangroves. One thing we don't need is another plant as destructive as the Brazilian Pepper tree. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Outro: Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
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