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Home > Special Topics > Invasive Species > Gulf Coast

Invasive Species of the Gulf Coast

Photo: Nutria

Nutria
(Myocastor coypus)
Nutria was introduced into Louisiana for its fur.  Today, nutria have become an expensive pest because of the impact that their healthy vegetarian appetites and housing choices have on our canals and swamps.

Photo: Zebra Mussel

Zebra Mussels
(Dreissena polymorpha)
These small bivalves are a real problem in some freshwater byways. The little critters can plug up water intakes and change the ecosystem.

Photo: Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth
(Eichhornia crassipes)
These water plants look beautiful along our bayous and in our swamps. But they form floating mats that cut off sunlight for other organisms and cause big problems for boaters, anglers and fish.

Photo: Hydrilla

Hydrilla or Water Thyme
(Hydrilla verticillata)

This submersed plant can grow to the water’s surface in all types of waterbodies. It forms dense vertical mats that can tangle in propellers and obstruct recreational boats, sometimes preventing angling and boating.

Other Resources
Hundreds of nonindigenous species have become invasive in certain areas of the U.S.