Invasive Asian Swamp Eels Devastating Everglades' Native Crawfish Population

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Invasive Asian Swamp Eels Devastating Everglades' Native Crawfish Population

Posted 2023-04-12T14:07:00Z

Two crawfish species have been reduced by 99%

South Florida's struggle with the invasive python is well known, but there's a lesser-known invasive species that's posing a huge threat to native species in the Everglades.

Wink News reported on a new study claiming that the Asian swamp eel has practically wiped out two species of native crawfish. The eel also preys on shrimp, worms, and small fish.

In the study published on Science Direct, Doctor Mathew Pintar and a team of researchers claim that the two crayfish species dropped by 99% since the eels invaded the Everglades in 2007.

Asian swamp eels are thin, brown, and unusual looking. They are considered a fish and are good at surviving in South Florida's flood and drought conditions.

(Don't Miss: Fried Catfish and Grits Breakfast)

The swamp eel can survive in water and on land because it has both gills and lungs.

Pintar said if the eels continue to have this sort of effect on crayfish and smaller fish, the results could be disastrous.

"When you take what were, you know, two of the most common species in the whole system, and they're gone now, it's very alarming, Pintar said.

The federal government and the State of Florida plan to spend $2 billion on overall Everglades restoration projects, but the spread of the Asian swamp eel could diminish the benefits.

For more crazy outdoor stories, visit The Realblog and check out Realtree's Facebook page.