Louisiana's Invasive Species Website
Invasive Species Portals and PathwaysInvasive species threaten not only Louisiana’s economy and environment, but also its unique cultural identity in America - one based on our bayous and backswamps, our rich history and famous cuisine, and our core industries. In recent years, aquatic plants from around the world - hydrilla, water hyacinth and salvinia - have clogged the waterways that make Louisiana a "sportsman’s paradise." Henderson Lake near Lafayette had to be drained to eliminate a mat of hydrilla so thick that marinas, swamp tour operators, and fishermen could no longer use the lake. Muskrat, once trapped for their valuable fur throughout Cajun country, have been crowded out by South American nutria. In New Orleans, Formosan termites have weakened thousands of historical structures and hollowed the city’s graceful live oaks. And in the summer of 2000, masses of Australian spotted jellyfish along the Louisiana coast raised the possibility that the gulf shrimp industry may be disrupted by a species from half-a-world away.

From places like China, Brazil, and the South Pacific, these species are "introduced" to Louisiana, having evolved outside our natural ecosystems. Some introduced species (also called exotic, alien, or nonindigenous species) prove to be beneficial, such as sugarcane and cotton, our biggest crops. Others are benign, such as azaleas and crape myrtles, our favorite ornamentals. But other introduced species—called invasive species—prove to be astonishingly problematic and costly. Brought here accidentally or intentionally, through trade and transport, they have multiplied rapidly and disrupted local environments and economies. Who are these uninvited guests, how did they arrive and spread, what impact are they having on Louisiana, and how can this problem be addressed? The purpose of these interactive maps, created by the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research with support from The Coypu Foundation, is to answer these questions.

  • Shelley Meaux, smeaux@tulane.edu or
  • Richard Campanella, rcampane@tulane.edu

Contact Louisiana's Invasive Species Website

Richard Campanella
Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research
107B Richardson Building
6823 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, Louisiana  70118
Phone: (504) 862-8450
Fax: (504) 862-8455


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