REPORT POTENTIAL INVASIVE SPECIES
Idaho Invasive Species Hotline [toll-free]:
Pet owners: Don’t Let It Loose!
Abandoned pets and plant materials which are released into the wild can become a serious invasive species threat. Some people believe the right thing to do when owners can no longer care for their pets is to release them into the wild to fend for themselves.
The truth is, releasing a pet is not only cruel to the animal, which will most likely die, it could also lead to great ecological damage should that introduced species find a niche to successfully colonize. Plant materials can also be inadvertently released when dumping aquarium contents into water systems, as well as from a backyard water garden with interconnecting waterways.
Invasive species cost the United States billions of dollars each year. They harm native fish, wildlife, and invertebrate populations, reducing biodiversity. They also harm local economies by discouraging recreation by anglers and tourists, decrease property values, and interfere with navigation and water control structures. Some of the most notorious invasive species in the United States were originally sold as pets or plants for gardens and aquariums.
Make sure to consider the entire life-cycle of a pet before buying or adopting it. Be a responsible pet owner by knowing how large it will get, how long it will live, and make sure you are willing to fully commit to its lifetime of needed care. Do not purchase any pet listed on the Idaho Invasive Species list.
aquarium hobbyistS and water gardenerS:
Don’t release unwanted animals and vegetation into the environment. Make sure backyard ponds are contained with no chance of non-native species escaping into out-flowing water systems. Learn how to identify invasive species and eradicate any known populations on your property.
IF YOU CAN NO LONGER CARE FOR YOUR PET (AND IT IS A LISTED INVASIVE SPECIES), PLEASE CALL THE IDAHO INVASIVE SPECIES HOTLINE [TOLL-FREE]:
1-877-336-8676 FOR RE-HOMING OPTIONS.
Please consider these options as opposed to dumping aquarium contents and/or releasing your exotic pets:
If your pet is NOT a listed invasive species...
- See if a local aquarium or pet shop will take your unwanted pet.
- Find a friend, club, school, etc. to adopt your pet.
- Locate an animal rescue facility near you.
Don't dump aquarium or water garden contents in surface waters. Always dispose of aquatic vegetation by burning, composting, or drying out completely and placing in a garbage bag.
INVASIVE EXOTIC PEsT THREATS TO IDAHO:
INVASIVE Aquatic plant THREATS TO IDAHO:
Examples of Invasive Exotic Pets that are wreaking havoc in the U.S.:
Photos: (fish bowl and water garden) Bethany Muffley, ISDA.