Michael Russello, an associate professor of biology at UBC’s Okanagan campus, said the snakehead, were it to breed, would be a big threat to B.C. aquatic life. “It has a fantastic ability to reproduce and spread. They are an ambush predator,” he said. “They can completely decimate native fish populations.”
Snakeheads can become invasive species and cause ecological damage because they are top-level predators, meaning they have no natural enemies outside of their native environment. Not only can they breathe atmospheric air, but they can also survive on land for up to four days, provided they are wet, and are known to migrate up to 1/4 mile on wet land to other bodies of water by wriggling with their body and fins. National Geographic has referred to snakeheads as "Fishzilla" and the National Geographic Channel reports that the "northern snakehead reaches sexual maturity by age 2 or 3. Each spawning-age female can release up to 15,000 eggs at once. Snakeheads can mate as often as five times a year. This means in just two years, a single female can release up to 150,000 eggs."
My purpose in starting this thread is to promote a broader discussion than this one fish, however, as it is but one example of many such concerns.
Wherever humans have ventured we have brought with us our plants and animals (and disease, but that can be another discussion). In our ongoing endeavors to shape the environment to better suit our purposes we have also introduced many species with the idea of 'natural control' of an existing plant, animal or insect and in many cases these introduced 'controls' have gotten out of control.
In a number of debates, humans have been touted as the most invasive species of all because of our ability to shape most environments to support our basic needs. Leaving that debate also for another thread, I would invite persons to share on this thread their knowledge and experience of any species that have been introduced into their own region, and whether these introductions have proven beneficial or have become problematic.