This video is called Fish Taxidermy – Zander.
According to British Waterways, the twelve most problematic invasive plant and animal species in Britain are:
One of the most invasive weeds in Britain, its dense growth crowds out native vegetation, erodes riverbanks and causes structural damage. Growing up to 3m high, this horror is common throughout Britain and can regenerate from tiny fragments.
This fleshy-stemmed plant uses its roots to interweave a floating mat of lush foliage. But don’t be fooled by this former resident of tropical aquaria and garden ponds, this pestilential plant is a real problem – it grows very rapidly in late summer and is responsible for choking waterways, crowding out native plants and taking oxygen from fish and insects.
This former ‘beauty queen’ of 19th century ornamental gardens, now found along waterways and areas of wasteland, grows up to 5m high. This dangerous, dark green giant produces thousands of seeds and can shade out other plants, increasing the risk of bank erosion. It also contains sap that can burn the skin when exposed to sunshine.
Sold in garden centres as an ‘oxygenating plant’, rapidly growing Stonecrop can quickly smother native vegetation. Spreading across the country since the 1970s, this yellow and green stemmed nasty can re-grow from tiny fragments and lives in a variety of habitats.
5. Water fern
The popular pond plant is also known as Fairy Fern but there’s nothing ethereal about this floating fiend, which forms dense mats of vegetation on the waters’ surface that may pose a hazard by appearing solid. Able to withstand British winters and invade a region very rapidly, this innocently sounding plant can reduce light beneath the surface, killing native plants and causing de-oxygenation.
Found throughout England, these brash 15cm-long beasts are aggressive, breed faster than the native species and damage banks with their burrowing. These filthy thugs also carry a fungal disease – ‘crayfish plague’, which is harmful to our native species.
Despite its soothing name, this densely growing pink and red-stemmed brute has an anti-social habit of projecting its seeds up to four metres away, allowing it to stifle native grasses and plants in its path. It dies back in Autumn but its destructive legacy lives on as it leaves waterway banks vulnerable to erosion.
The bully of the inland waterway, mink are often mistaken for otters but are smaller and far more aggressive. An efficient predator, this menace – brought to Britain in 1929 for commercial fur farms – has a score to settle and will greedily dine on a variety of waterway natives, including fish, birds, invertebrates and Wind in the Willows’ favourite, the water vole.
9. Zebra Mussel
These stripey stowaways landed in Britain’s waterways on the hulls of ships from Eastern Europe and decided to stay. Growing up to 5cm long, the nautical nuisances reproduce rapidly and form large colonies that attach to almost any submerged hard surface, impeding the smooth running of canal gates and sluices.
This wide-mouthed predator has excellent vision and fang-like teeth, which it uses to eat native fish and steal their food. Highly adaptable, this voracious carnivore has now spread and thrives in large, slow flowing waters in Central England.
Named after their white tipped claws, these 8cm-long Asian crustaceans have a voracious appetite for almost anything that gets in their way. Their extensive burrowing damages canals, drainage embankments and structures – mostly in London, where they were found more than 70 years ago.
Britain’s inland waterways were a safer place for bird eggs and insect larvae before these terrors came along. Brought to Britain from the USA as pets, these real life ‘Ninja turtles’, which can live for 25 years, are often dumped in the wild when they grow too big or their owner gets bored.
Invasive seaweed choking Scottish Lochs: here.
Results of British Waterways’ annual survey reveals diversity of waterway wildlife: here.
Invasive water plants in the Netherlands: here.
The green mussel is known for being a notoriously invasive fouling species, but researchers have just discovered that it also has a very powerful form of adhesion in its foot, as per a recent article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The stickiness of the mussel’s foot could possibly be copied to form new man-made adhesives: here.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 23, 2009) — Details of the lifestyle of mink, which escaped from fur farms and now live wild in the UK, have been revealed through analysis of their whiskers. Research led by the University of Exeter reveals more about the diet of this invasive species and provides a clue to its whereabouts. There are now plans to use the findings to eradicate it from environments where it can be devastating to native species: here.
September 2011: A project battling the damaging effects of mink on Scotland’s wildlife has just been extended for a further three years. The Hebridean Mink Project (HMP) will continue with an emphasis on monitoring until March 2014. This extension has been assisted by a contribution of £36,000 from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CNES): here.