Invasive Animals

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feral hogs damaging a spring by rooting around
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Invasive Animals
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Stop the invasion! Protect Missouri’s natural heritage.
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Invasive species are costly to native wildlife

After habitat destruction, invasive species are the second leading cause of population decline and extinction of native animals.

What makes a species "invasive"?

"Invasive" species come from other watersheds, other regions or other continents. In a new landscape, they may have no natural controls, such as predators. As a result, nonnative animals, such as feral hogs, often eat local wildlife or their foods and consume or destroy their habitat.

Browse this section to learn what you can do to help stop the spread of invasive animals. 

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Help Stop the Spread!

Protect Missouri’s natural places, native wildlife, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and economy.

Please do what you can to control invasive species when you landscape, farm, hunt, fish, camp, or explore nature.

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Invasive Animals in Missouri
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Because they are nonnative, destructive and dangerous, feral hogs should be eliminated from Missouri. This section discusses efforts to control feral hogs in our state.

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Invasive carp laid on its side (bottom) next to a native gizzard shad (top)
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Because silver carp and bighead carp are nonnative invasive fish, they can cause big problems. It's illegal to use them as live bait in Missouri. Keep them from spreading to your favorite sport-fishing water.

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The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle that kills ash trees. Learn to identify and report EAB in your area.

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Photo of a gray rock pigeon standing among rocks
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Learn to identify, prevent, and control damage from nonnative common pigeons (also known as rock doves) on your Missouri property.

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starling
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Learn to control European starlings in Missouri livestock feedlots.

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Photo of zebra mussels.
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These invasive, fingernail-sized, black-and-white striped "clams" hurt Missouri's waters. Learn to avoid spreading them.

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Invasive Animals to Watch For
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These invasive insects have not been found in Missouri yet but have been found in other states. If you see any of these, please report your sighting to MDC. Email forest.health@mdc.mo.gov .

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These hungry insects aren't in Missouri yet, but they will drastically alter our forests if and when they arrive. Learn to avoid spreading these destructive forest pests.

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Spotted Lanternfly
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The spotted lanternfly has not been found in Missouri yet but is present in several eastern states. It has the potential to damage our forests and food supply by feeding on trees and crop plants.

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An unwanted arrival from Asia that's now living in parts of the United States, the Asian longhorned beetle could destroy millions of acres of American hardwoods. Learn about this invasive, potentially devastating insect!