UNWANTED IN THE OKANAGAN
Eurasian Millfoil and American Bullfrog
Have you ever heard of aliens? Aren't they just some mythical creatures that we can't really say for sure whether they exist? I have a definitive answer. Yes, aliens are among us, and they roam free throughout our land. I'm going to talk about two of these aliens, the American Bullfrog and the Eurasian Millfoil, and how they affect our ecosystem, and answer the main question for you all. How can we raise awareness about invasive species in the Okanagan?
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
The american Bullfrog is a really quite interesting organism. It has some defining qualities, such as its small bumps all over its body, its large eardrums, and large belly. American bullfrogs can be found around swamps, or on just a rainy day. I once saw one at my bus stop. Unfortunately, B.C. museum hasn't posted it yet so you'll just have to take my word for it! American Bullfrogs have an interesting story of how they got here too. After World War 2, there was an industry that was planned for soldiers returning from war. Frog farms were supposed to be the next big thing, but it never took off the way it was expected to. Most of the Frogs were released out into the wild and have now become a species that is one to fear. American Bullfrogs eat most other frogs and they reproduce fast. A female can lay up to 20,000 eggs. It has some other animals to keep it in check, such as the snapping turtle, but there are only a few others. All these factors make the American Bullfrog a force to be Reckoned with
Eurasian Millfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
The Eurasian Millfoil is generally not as big of a threat to animals, but a bigger threat to our lakes. It is a threat due to ruining our plant diversity. Our lakes have become way less diverse and it's partly because of this. My theory is that it showed up when someone dumped their unwanted aquarium into our lake, becaue Eurasian Millfoil was a popular plant to use as an aquarium decoration. It spreads easily on the underside of boats, or on water gear. It can reproduce quite quickly as well
How do we raise awareness about invasive species in the Okanagan? I have my best possible theory. Always make sure that if you don't know if something is native or not, you check, always. There are so many resources that you can use to help yourself out. You don't want to be the guy that messes up our ecosystem, do you?
American Bullfrog Eats Everything!
"Silent Invaders" Milfoil 2013