Native and Invasive Species

The Great Lakes region is rich with life and full of native species well adapted to survival. However, since the early 1800s, many non-native plants, animals and microscopic organisms have been introduced into the Great Lakes, either accidentally or intentionally.

Many non-native species are considered invasive, as they are free from natural predators, reproduce rapidly and aggressively compete with native species.

Invasive species disrupt the food web by reducing habitat or food for native species and by preying directly upon them. Invasive species can affect property values, and influence economies of water-dependent communities. They are costly to manage and have led to a severe loss of biodiversity in Michigan, the Great Lakes region and throughout the world.

Learn About Specific Species

Great Lakes native species are diverse and interesting and contribute to a healthy ecosystem. Learn more about them as well as the invasive species that call the Great Lakes home through the species pages.

Found an Invasive Species?

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