Antarctic, invasive species from the North


From the BBC:

‘Warm’ species invading Antarctic

By Paul Rincon

Science reporter, BBC News

Scientists are calling for action to prevent foreign species from taking hold in Antarctica and wrecking the continent’s unique ecosystems.

Despite Antarctica’s inhospitable environment, non-native species introduced by tourists, scientists and explorers are gaining a foothold.

Species can hitch a ride on ships and planes carrying visitors and supplies.

A paper on the matter tabled at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Edinburgh met with “good agreement”.

“Antarctica has long been considered as an isolated continent with a harsh environment.

So the general perception has been that we don’t need to worry about non-native species.

We know better now,” Dr Gilbert, environmental manager at Antarctica New Zealand, told BBC News.

Male and female North Atlantic spider crabs (Hyas araneus) have been found in waters off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Neil Gilbert says the species could not have migrated such a great distance by its own accord.

In addition, a cosmopolitan species of grass, Poa annua, is surviving on King George Island, north of the Antarctic Peninsula.

A new study looking at the implications of increased shipping activity and the impact on Antarctic marine biodiversity is published this week in the journal Global Change Biology. The research is an important step in the quest to understand whether invasive species, introduced by shipping, will find the Antarctic marine environment more hospitable as Antarctica’s climate changes: here.

Antarctic seas krill: here.

Early 20th century Antarctic explorers’ huts: here.

Penguins drifting off to Brazil: here.

1 thought on “Antarctic, invasive species from the North

  1. Pingback: Albatrosses breeding in Antarctic | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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