A recent study revealed that globally, about one-fourth of all invasive species are “new” invaders, meaning that they have not previously been invasive in other areas. In other words, although we can predict that certain species will become invasive in new environments, there are other species that may invade even though they haven’t caused problems elsewhere. An example of an animal that we know is invasive is the wild pig (Sus scrofa). Just about anywhere wild pigs are introduced, they become a major invasive problem. On the other hand, there are numerous plants, insects, and wildlife that aren’t yet known as “invasive,” but could easily become a problem in a new environment under the right conditions.
What does this mean for range management? Landowners, managers, hunters, hikers, and all outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of their surroundings and report any non-native species detected. Early detection gives biologists a much better chance at preventing an invasion. An easy way to do this is through iNaturalist, which allows you to upload a picture of a plant or animal for identification help. Reporting known invasives is also important, and can be done through the Texas Invasives website.