invasive species

Herds of mountain goats occupy mountain ranges all around the Mountain West. Not all are native, though, and some of those transplants are causing problems. That's the case in Wyoming's Teton Range.

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Feral pigs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage each year, especially to crops. Now concern is mounting they could be at the doorstep in parts of the Mountain West.

The pigs — which an expert at the USDA has called "one of the most destructive and formidable invasive species in the United States" — could come across the Canadian border into Montana, or traipse into Colorado from the feral pig stronghold of Texas.

Invasive animals are posing a major threat to national parks throughout the country, according to a new paper published in the journal Biological Invasions.

Ashley Dayer, the study’s lead author, says her team received data from 81% of national parks and found there are more than 300 invasive animal species across the National Park Service system.

Wildfire is a continual threat in the West, but researchers say an invasive species of grass that’s taking hold in states like Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada could make things worse.

A new species of tumbleweed is more vigorous and invasive than ones we've seen in the past. Its range could spread throughout the Mountain West. 

Invasive insects and diseases are killing tree species in forests across the U.S., and in turn, weakening one of the planet's natural ways to fight climate change. That's according to a new report published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tamarisk beetle
RiversEdge West / CC BY 2.0

CLARKDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Matt Johnson treks along an Arizona riverbank and picks out a patch of yellow-tinged tamarisks. He sweeps a cloth net across the trees, hoping to scoop up beetles that munch on their evergreen-like leaves.

He counts spiders, ants and leafhoppers among the catch and few beetles or their larvae.

American bullfrog
Dyan Bone / Kaibab National Forest

Several northern Colorado communities are banding together to rid the region of American bullfrogs, an invasive species hurting the native population of northern leopard frogs.

The Longmont Times-Call reports Jefferson and Boulder counties, along with Longmont, Boulder and Fort Collins, are working with a Denver-based environmental consultant to come up with a plan to substantially decrease the population of the larger predatory bullfrogs.

Matt Lavin / Flickr

According to the Western Governors Association, species like the Canada thistle and common carp aren’t just nuisances -- they’re a matter of western biosecurity.