Keys' Invasive Exotic Removal Guide

There is a war going on in the Keys!

The casualties are mounting: so far the invasion has affected 42 plant species and 27 animals to the point of being threatened or endangered with extinction. The underlying cause for this decline is destruction of natural lands both by man and by a more insidious enemy, INVASIVE EXOTIC PLANTS.

The Keys' subtropical climate provides an ideal environment for introduced plants from other tropical areas of the world to escape cultivation and become naturalized. These plants invade hardwood hammocks, pinelands, and wetland ecosystems destroying the plant and animal biodiversity that makes the Keys unique.

Many of our natural communities are being taken over, due primarily to three aggressive invasive exotics: Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Australian pine (Casuarina spp.), and Asiatic colubrina (Colubrina asiatica). Another species that is fast becoming a problem is Lead tree (Leucaena leucocephala).

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