Invasive wildlife species, like feral hogs and Asian carp, have made their way into Indiana habitats where they compete with valuable native species. Thanks to their ability to grow rapidly, reproduce quickly, and adapt easily to a variety of habitat conditions, these invaders are thriving.
Invasive species are capable of dominating a landscape because their natural predators and control mechanisms are absent. Often, these species are not endemic to Indiana, but rather introduced from different countries and regions.
How can you identify a species as invasive and non-native?
Use the USDA National Invasive Species Information Center website as a starting point to read about specific threats to Indiana and access numerous informative links.
The Pest Tracker tool managed by the USDA and Purdue University identifies invasive invertebrate species and provides details on the exotic pests found in each state.
Also take a glance at Purdue's CAPS program where you can select your pest, habitat, or county to learn more about species that could be problematic. Are any of your plants on the "Most Unwanted" invasive plant species list?
DNR also lists invasive species that you may encounter in Indiana, with information on what to do if you think you spot an invasive plant or animal.
A brief word about invasive animals
Monitoring and eradicating invasive wildlife is an important part of maintaining Indiana’s natural heritage. The following species compete with or prey on native wildlife and thus, threaten the health of the state’s habitats.
Mute swan, Cygnus olor
Nutria, Myocastor coypus
Bighead carp, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
Silver carp, Hypophthalmic molitrix
Black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus
Grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella
Alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus
Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus
Rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus
Ruffle, Gymnocephalus cernuus
Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus
Snakehead Fish, various
Walking Catfish, Clarias batrachus
White Perch, Morone americana
Asiatic Clam, Corbicula fluminea
Channeled Apple Snail, Pomacea canaliculata
Chinese Mystery Snail, Cipangopaludina chinensis
Fishhook Water Fleas, Cercopagis pengoi
New Zealand Watersnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Rusty Crayfish, Orconectes rusticus
Spiny Water Fleas, Bythotrephes spp
Asian Long-horned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis
Giant African Land Snail, Achatina fulica
Granulate Ambrosia Beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus
Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica
Pine Shoot Beetle, Tomicus piniperda