The Cultural Impacts of Invasive Species
In South Louisiana the cultural impacts from exotic invasive species are significant. Our way of life has strong links with the land and its natural resources, so when invasive species have a negative effect on the environment, they also have a negative effect on our lives. For example, the nutria, an exotic invasive mammal that was introduced to Louisiana for the fur trade, has contributed to the rate of coastal wetland erosion in south Louisiana because of its voracious feeding habits.
Chinese Tallow tree, another exotic invasive species that was purposefully introduced for both the agriculture industry and the landscaping industry, is crowding out native wetland tree and shrub species because of its extremely fast growth and reproductive capability. These are just two examples of invasive species that cause a decline in wetland habitat, which means loss of fish and wildlife habitat, and, in turn, a decline in the health of fish and wildlife populations. So if fishing, hunting, trapping, birding, and enjoyment of our bountiful wetlands are a large part of your culture, then exotic invasive species have an effect on your lifestyle.