May 04, 2017 04:31 AM EDT
A new species of an invasive Asian clam is threatening the Lake Michigan. While there are several invasive creatures that are inching toward the Great Lake like the Asian carp, scientists confirmed that the clam is a whole new threat to the lakes' balance. Further, the Asian clam found an unusual entry pint - the Illinois River.
If taken into the general perspective, the Asian clam is going to end up in the Lake Michigan with short notice. From then on, experts will have a hard time controlling their spread over the waters that are not naturally their home. The Asian clam might join with the carps, mussels, bivalves, goldfish, and even invasive plants. The growing problem of invasive species in the Great Lakes escalates out of species that are supposedly native in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The Asian clam is thought to have been brought in the North America by immigrants who grows them for food. The clam eventually colonized several waterways in the past decades. To make the matter worse, these clams are preying on the native scale shell, according to Science Daily.
Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that the proliferation of invasive species like the Asian clam in Lake Michigan or the Great Lakes, in general, can damage the ecosystem. The invasive species out-competes the native species and short-circuits the natural food web. To date, there are about 180 invasive species listed by NOAA under its GLANSIS project.
The Great Lakes Aquatic Non-Indigenous Species Information System aims to halt the spread of invasive species. It is a collection of records of species like the Asian clam and their respective are of concentration and spread. GLANSIS provides technical information about threats in the Great Lakes so that the natural resources manager can react accordingly. However, it has been noted that the invasive species are colonizing rapidly before any concrete measures can be taken up.
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