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Apps Help the Public Fight Invasive Species in Florida

John Davis / WGCU

South Florida is a hotspot for invasive species, and the exotic plants, reptiles, amphibians, and fish that take root in the subtropical region of Florida can cause harm to the ecology, economy, and even human health.

From invasive Burmese pythons to Argentine black and white tegus, from Clown Knifefish in the water to the climbing, coiling kudzu plants, Florida’s native plants and animals face displacement by nonnative species.

 But now, a series of apps are helping civilians to fight back. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is tapping the biggest social media platform of anglers, Fishbrain, to track invasive freshwater fish. It joins the ranks of apps like I've Got 1 that already track invasive plants and animals on land. Wednesday at 1 p.m. on Gulf Coast Live, Mike Bodle with the Southwest Florida Water Management District's invasive species program talks about invasives in South Florida and what tools are out there to combat the threat. Fishbrain developer Johan Attby also joins the show from Stockholm, Sweden, to talk about how this new fish-eye view of invading fish species can help our understanding of what’s happening underwater.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.