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Invasive Species

Overview

Their name says it all -- invasive species. A plant or animal invades a place where it isn't supposed to be and upsets the balance of nature. The mystery is how these invaders get to their new homes. Often, humans move them around either intentionally or they travel with us as unwelcome hitchhikers.

Whether they arrive by ship, airplane, automobile or in packages we mail, there are thousands of opportunities every day for unwanted organisms to enter the United States. Modern transportation makes it possible for insects, fungal spores, seeds or numerous other hitchhikers to move from their native lands to the U.S. in just hours. The U.S. government spends hundreds of millions of dollars to keep unwanted plants and animals out. But the odds are against us.

From herbicide resistant pigweed to Asiatic soybean rust, boll weevils to kudzu, invasive species are a prevalent and persistent problem in Georgia. Fighting these unwanted interlopers costs farmers, local governments and the state millions each year. The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is working to combat this problem from all angles.

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