Dozens Of Nonnative Marine Species Have Invaded The Galapagos Islands

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Cornish. The Galapagos islands are like a biological arc in the eastern Pacific Ocean. There giant tortoises and swimming iguanas and numerous creatures found nowhere else is one of the world's most protected places. But scientists have discovered that dozens of exotic species have invaded the Galapagos underwater NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on this unexpected finding marine biologists James Carlton remembers when he first got to thinking that the Galapagos islands may not be as pristine as people thought on my first visit to the Galapagos collected some samples from both bottom barnacles sponges and other hitchhikers that was nineteen eighty-seven Carlton didn't know if those creatures he found were native or not so four years ago he and a team of scientists decided to return and take a closer. Look, we didn't know quite what to do. Expect what they did know was that on land. There were lots of invasive species species that are not native to the islands, but in the surrounding ocean. Scientists only knew of five invaders everything else presumably was native when Carlton's team looked underwater. However, they found a hoard of invaders and now we have fifty three which is a rather stunning increase marine biologist. Gregory Ruiz says they found exotic species on pilings docks and mangrove roots. They hung plastic plates underwater in all sorts of alien invertebrates latched onto them at the Smithsonian environmental research center in Maryland, where he works Ruiz shows me, the invasions lab, researchers here track invasive species around the world, this is a organism that we've found in the Galapagos tuna could also known as a sea squirt a tiny tube-like animal. He has more invaders in glass bowls filled with alcohol barnacle. Nls LG, CNN enemies. They're described in the journal aquatic invasions recess rising tourism in the Galapagos means more boats, docks, pilings, transportation and homes. For invasive, these organisms aren't just footnotes in the biology. Text zebra mussels invaded the Great Lakes and caused havoc the tiny parasite called MS X has killed millions of choice tres in the Chesapeake Bay on the east coast James Carlton now, professor emeritus at Williams. College says tracking invaders helps authorities stem they're spread he expects other tropical areas or heavily invaded as well. And in a protected place. Let the Galapagos he says their presence means something's been lost. We value a world that we think represents nature before we began altering it before we began removing species, Abby species and changing the abundance of species, even in the Galapagos that were. World is

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