Bird Families

What are invasive animal species and how are they destroying ecosystems


Aerodramus (lat.) - a genus of birds from the swift family. Previously included in the genus swiftlet (Collocalia).

Sedentary birds. They inhabit Southeast Asia, the islands of the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, the islands of Oceania and the Indian Ocean, northeastern Australia.

In contrast to the genera swifts dwelling in caves Collocalia and Hydrochous, Aerodramus use echolocation for movement.

The nests of some birds of the genus, such as seaweed swiftlets and black-nested swallows, are known in Chinese cuisine as "swallow's nests" and are a popular delicacy.


The genus includes 28 species:

  • Aerodramus amelis (Oberholser, 1906)
  • Aerodramus bartschi (Mearns, 1909) - Guam salangan
  • Aerodramus brevirostris (Horsfield, 1840) - Himalayan swiftlet
  • Aerodramus ceramensis (van Oort, 1911)
  • Aerodramus elaphrus (Oberholser, 1906) - Seychelles swiftlet
  • Aerodramus francicus (Gmelin, 1789) - Mauritian salangan
  • Aerodramus fuciphagus (Thunberg, 1812) - Seaweed salangana, or algal swiftlet
  • Aerodramus germani (Oustalet, 1876) - Edible swiftlet
  • Aerodramus hirundinaceus (Stresemann, 1914) - Swallow swallowtail
  • Aerodramus infuscatus (Salvadori, 1880) - Moluccan swiftlet
  • Aerodramus inquietus (Kittlitz, 1858) - Karolinska salangan
  • Aerodramus leucophaeus (Gmelin, 1789) - Tahitian salangan
  • Aerodramus maximus (Hume, 1878) - Black-breasted swiftlet
  • Aerodramus mearnsi (Oberholser, 1912) - Philippine salangan
  • Aerodramus nuditarsus (Salomonsen, 1962) - Barefoot swiftlet
  • Aerodramus ocistus (Oberholser, 1906) - Marquesas salangan
  • Aerodramus orientalis (Mayr, 1935) - Salangana Meira
  • Aerodramus papuensis (Rand, 1941) - Papuan salangan
  • Aerodramus pelewensis (Mayr, 1935) - Palaus salangan
  • Aerodramus salangana (Streubel, 1848) - Gray swiftlet
  • Aerodramus sawtelli (Holyoak, 1974)
  • Aerodramus sororum (Stresemann, 1931)
  • Aerodramus spodiopygius (Peale, 1849) - White-tailed swiftlet
  • Aerodramus terraereginae (Ramsay, 1875) - Australian swiftlet
  • Aerodramus unicolor (Jerdon, 1840) - Indian swiftlet
  • Aerodramus vanikorensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1832) - Gray swiftlet
  • Aerodramus vulcanorum (Stresemann, 1926)
  • Aerodramus whiteheadi (Ogilvie-Grant, 1895) - Philippine salangan

Sometimes all species of this genus are considered as part of the genus. Collocalia.

Argentine ant

Argentine ants originally lived only in South America, but now their colonies exist in southern Europe, the United States, and also in Asia. In Europe, the largest colony of Argentine ants stretches for 6 thousand km, stretching along the entire Mediterranean coast of Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. The ant colony in the USA (California) has already grown to 900 km. The third colony of Argentine ants is located on the west coast of Japan. It was found that all three colonies of Argentine ants are tolerant of each other, i.e. form a huge supercolony on a planetary scale.

Achatina giant

The homeland of the giant Achatina is the coastal part of East Africa. During the Second World War, this mollusk spread across Oceania, the Caribbean, America. The expansion of the Achatina range was stopped due to the imposed quarantine. The incipient snail invasion in the United States was prevented. The giant achatina is a dangerous species, since the achatina are hermaphrodites, that is, each individual has male and female genital organs. At low population density, self-fertilization is possible. The snail has learned to master all kinds of biotopes: coastal lowlands, river valleys, forests, shrubs, as well as fields and arable lands. Achatina giant is recognized as an extremely dangerous agricultural pest.

American signal cancer

Originally, American signal cancer lived in North America. In the 20th century, it spread in Europe, since it is not only resistant to the crayfish plague, but is itself a distributor of it. Endemics are unable to compete with American signaling cancer. Currently found in Europe (in 25 countries), as well as in Russia.

Noble deer

Deer is included in the list of the most dangerous invasive species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The red deer is most dangerous in South America, where the rare South Andeer deer competes with it for food. In Argentina, red deer have spread to many national parks. In some regions, the red deer does not allow to recover the populations of local plant species, which are especially actively consumed by it for food, thus affecting the plant diversity.

Venous Rapana

Rapana is a predator that could initially only be found in the Peter the Great Bay and off the coast of Japan, but in 1947 the rapa was accidentally introduced into the Black Sea. Due to the absence of natural enemies in the sea, the population of mollusks instantly grew and caused enormous damage to the fauna of the Black Sea. In the future, due to intensive sea traffic, the area of ​​the rapana has increased: now it has inhabited the entire Mediterranean Sea, as well as the North Sea. There is evidence that the rapana has already entered the waters of South America.

Tobacco whitefly

India is considered the homeland of the tobacco whitefly. Whiteflies are dangerous because their larvae suck out plant juices and transmit phytopathogenic viruses. A particularly dangerous insect for melons, vegetables and industrial crops. Berry, citrus and forest tree plantations are also affected. Whiteflies have settled on all continents (except Antarctica).

Yellow crazy ant

Crazy yellow ants originally lived only in West Africa. Now colonies of these ants are found in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Oceania. Destroyed a unique ecosystem on Christmas Island. Yellow crazy ants are capable of creating supercolonies (i.e. they do not compete with each other). They use human transport to capture new territories. Destroy other insects, arachnids, molluscs. Their diet also includes grains and seeds.

Chinese hair crab

Initially he lived in the Yellow Sea river system. In 1912, it was accidentally brought with ballast water from China to Germany. During the 20th century, the Chinese fur-handed crab also "infected" the river arteries of Scandinavia, North America, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and Ukraine.
It is a carrier of a dangerous disease - crayfish plague, as well as parasites (fluke fluke).


The carp was introduced to Australia in 1859, where it spread too quickly. It currently accounts for over 80% of all fish biomass in the Murray hydraulic system. Quickly adapts to new conditions.

Taiwan Underground Termite

An extremely dangerous pest in the Hawaiian Islands. It is considered the main destroyer of dams on the planet. Causes serious damage in China (where it originally lived), North America.

Mnemiopsis leidyi

A predator that wiped out more than half of the zooplankton in the Black Sea in the 1980s. In 1999, it destroyed more than 75% of the zooplankton in the Caspian Sea. It has spread in the North Sea as well as in the Baltic Sea. He got into the river systems of Germany, Norway and Poland. It was originally distributed in the waters of the western Atlantic.

Common wasp

Wasps have not previously been introduced to Australia and New Zealand. They were brought to New Zealand in the 1980s. Here this species is very aggressive towards local insects and began to compete even with birds for food resources.

Grain kozheed

The homeland of the kozheed is India. Since the 19th century, it has slowly spread in the countries of Europe, Africa, Central Asia, South America. I ended up in New Zealand. An extremely dangerous agricultural pest.

Frog clary catfish

The clary frog catfish lives in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia. It spread to North America. Survives in waters where there is little oxygen due to the characteristics of the body (it has an additional respiratory organ in the form of an air bag).

River zebra mussel

Initially, the river Dreissena was distributed in the river and lake systems of Eastern Europe. At the end of the 20th century, the larvae entered the Great Lakes system with ballast water. After they spread throughout the United States and Canada. Promotes explosive growth of bottom algae.