What are exotic and invasive species?
Exotic species are organisms (plants, animals, and microorganisms) that are not native to a particular region. The impact of exotic pests varies considerably depending on the species and the area being invaded.
Some exotic species have been intentionally introduced to California, while others come in accidentally. Some species are able to rapidly colonize an area and become serious pests, often because they are no longer under control of predators or diseases that limited their numbers in their native habitat. Species that rapidly colonize an area are often called exotic invasive.
Once established, invasive species are extremely difficult to eradicate and can cause not only ecological disruption, but economic problems as well. Everyone has a part to play to keep exotic and invasive species from coming into California and spreading throughout the state.
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