Intensifying hurricanes are helping invasive species spread across the U.S.
More than a hundred species—including Asian swamp eels and zebra mussels—hitched a ride on Hurricane Isaias' floodwaters, scientists say.
With record-breaking intensity, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has surged past the average 12 named storms per year. When Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Mexico on October 26, it became the 27th named storm of the season and 11th named hurricane.
While hurricanes are notorious for producing tornados and causing widespread destruction, they have another devastating, yet lesser-known effect: Spreading invasive species to new habitats. (Here’s how hurricanes form—and why they’re so destructive.)
When Hurricane Isaias slammed into the Caribbean and eastern U.S. this summer, rising water levels allowed at least 114 non-native aquatic species to ride from one watershed to the next, according to the United States Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species team.