Invasive Species

invasive lionfish in park
Invasive lionfish caught in the park.

Yasmeen Smalley

The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the major factors contributing to ecosystem change throughout the world. An invasive species is a "non-native species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human, animal or plant health."

Invasive species often lack natural predators to keep their numbers in check. Because of its warm climate, South Florida is an inviting place for them. Whenever possible, park managers attempt to control the distribution and spread of these species. Please do not release an exotic plant or animal into the wild, even if you think it is harmless.

Many invasive species may be controlled if caught early enough, so please report sightings to proper authorities. Click here to report the sighting of a new invasive species in the park. Please provide as much information as possible (date, location, number, size, image and/or behavior). A list of invasive species that may be found in the park is below.

Type Scientific Name Common Name Frequency in the park
Amphibian Bufo marinus Giant toad, cane toad Abundant
Amphibian Eleutherodactylus planirostris planirostris Greenhouse frog Common
Amphibian Osteopilus septentrionalis Cuban tree frog Common
Bird Acridotheres tristis Common myna Occasional
Bird Cygnus olor Mute Swan Rare
Bird Sturnus vulgaris European starling Common
Fish Amphilophus citrinellum Midas Cichlid Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Astronotus ocellatus Oscar Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Chromileptes altivelis Panther grouper, humpback grouper A single individual has been reported and removed
Fish Cichla ocellaris peacock cichlid, butterfly peacock bass Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Cichlasoma bimaculatum Black acara Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Cichlasoma urophthalamus Mayan cichlid Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Clarias batrachus walking catfish, clarias catfish Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Ctenopharyngodon idella grass carp Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Hemichromis letourneauxi Jewel Cichlid Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Hemichromis letourneuxi African jewelfish Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Leporinus fasciatus banded leporinus Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Oreochromis aureus blue tilapia Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Oreochromis mossambicus Mozambique tilapia Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Parachromis managuensis Jaguar cichlid Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Pterois volitans/miles Lionfish (red lionfish, striped lionfish) Common, and increasing in occurrence. Visit our lionfish page
Fish Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Tilapia mariae spotted tilapia Observed in canals along park's western boundary
Fish Zanclus cornutus Moorish idol What is believed to be a single individual has been repeatedly observed on reefs along the park's eastern boundary
Insect Cactoblastis cactorum Prickly pear moth, cactus moth Rare
Insect Solenopsis spp. Imported red fireant Common
Mammal Felis domesticus Feral cat Occasional
Mammal Rattus rattus Black rat Common
Mammal Sciurus aureogaster Mexican red-bellied squirrel Rare
Reptile Anolis sagrei Cuban brown anole Common to abundant
Reptile Agama agama Common agama lizard Rare
Reptile Basiliscus vittatus Brown basilisk lizard ('Jesus lizard') Common
Reptile Hemidactylus garnotti Indo-Pacific gecko Occasional to common
Reptile Hemidactylus mabouia Tropical house gecko Occasional to common
Reptile Hemidactylus turcicus Mediterranean gecko Occasional
Reptile Iguana iguana Green iguana Common
Reptile Python molurus bivittatus Burmese python Rare; Visit the Everglades python page
Reptile Ramphotyphlops braminus Brahminy blindsnake Occasional
Reptile Tupinambis merianae Black and white tegu lizard Observed near park's mainland boundary
Reptile Varanus spp Monitor lizard Observed near park's mainland boundary

Additional information:

Last updated: February 28, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

9700 SW 328th Street
Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033

Phone:

(305) 230-1144

Contact Us