Non-Native Plants & Animals
This is a topic that has been bothering me for some time.  We all know what a non-native plant or animal is:  It's something that
didn't start out here.  Something that was imported from somewhere else.

Now don't get me wrong, keeping non-native plants and/or animals confined in your home or your own back yard is one thing.  
Releasing them into the wild is a COMPLETELY different story!  Fortunately, here in Illinois, tropical plants and animals can't
survive our winters, so there is little chance of us having a plague of boa constrictors or tarantulas descend upon us.  There have
been several imports, however, that
have wreaked havoc with our ecosystem, most notably, the starling and the Japanese
beetle, both brought to us by our Federal Government (thanks for that, by the way.)

In all honesty, carp are not native to North America, but they've been here so long, we just kind of accept them as native.  Fish
from a garden pond or home aquarium are NOT considered native, and should NEVER be released into a water source.  Not only
is it AGAINST THE LAW to do so, it is environmentally irresponsible.

In many southern states, the importation of many tropical pond plants is Federally prohibited, and there is good reason for this.  
The improper disposal of such plants will destroy the natural ecosystem.

Below are some pictures of my pond a couple of years ago.  I let the water hyacinth go to see what would happen.  Even in the
short growing season that we have, they completely took over my pond.  That's right, every square inch of my 18' x 24' pond was
covered.
It's not hard to imagine what would happen if these plants were
released into water sources in a tropical region.  They would block
out the light from anything growing below the water level, the
shade produced by plant coverage would dramatically lower the
ambient water temperature, and the decomposition of their spent
foliage would fill the water source in short order, disrupting and
ultimately annihilating the entire native ecosystem.
As ponders and citizens, it is our obligation to act responsibly, even
if our own government doesn't.  Don't EVER release your fish or
pond plants into an uncontained or natural water source.  EVER.
My Pond on Water Hyacinth
My Pond
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