Hunting invasive species in Arizona can provide benefits to hunters and the environment. Invasive species are those which are nonnative and have been introduced accidentally, by way of releasing exotic pets or some other form of human interference with the natural environment. Oftentimes, invasive animal species have no natural predators in the area and therefore grow to alarmingly high numbers, choking out the natural species.
Here are some of the invasive animal species in the American Southwest and the rules for hunting them in Arizona.
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1. The American Bullfrog
The American bullfrog was accidentally introduced in Arizona through the aquarium trade and pest control, but it has since been found to "compete with and prey on all aquatic life, including native species,” according to the Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council
. Arizona allows a year-round fishing and hunting season on this species of bullfrog, hoping that eliminating as much of the species as possible will prevent the extinction of further amphibian or fish species at the mouth of the bullfrog.
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2. All species of crayfish
The University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences states
, “Arizona has no native crayfish species.” Since their introduction as live bait and weed control, crayfish have been decimating natural populations of fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals. The University recommends that hunters catch as many as possible as any fishing license allows year-round capture of crayfish with no bag limit.
3. Asian carp
Like many invasive fish species, the Asian carp was introduced for the purpose of algae control. Since their introduction to the United States from Eurasia and China, these fish have been illegally transported to Arizona from the Mississippi River by bait buckets or commercial transport and stocking. As it does with most invasive species, the Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council allows fishing of the Asian carp year-round.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.
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