Introduced species are those organisms that are native to somewhere else that have been introduced through human activities.

Many introduced species have detrimental effects on native flora and fauna due to lack of population controls such as predators and disease. As population numbers grow out of control, these species are often referred to as invasive species.

Mayan Cichlid

Juvenile Mayan cichlid - an introduced species found in the freshwater marshes of the Everglades. Photo ©Sam Thompson
Juvenile Mayan cichlid. Photo ©Sam Thompson

Native to the Central American Atlantic slope waters of southeastern Mexico and Central America, the Mayan cichlid was first documented in the waters of Florida Bay in 1983. Since that time, this fish has been quite successful at expanding its range throughout the man-made canals and estuarine mangrove swamps of south Florida. The source of introduction of this species is unknown as is the impact it will have on native fish species and the ecology of the Everglades and Florida Bay.

More information on the Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus).

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