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Smithsonian, Sep 17, 2003 - Nature - 266 pages
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This is the story of an invasive species that went from obscurity to fame, becoming front-page news and the topic of David Letterman's Top Ten list. Snakeheads, a species native to Asia, were released into a suburban pond in Maryland sometime around the year 2000. They reproduced and a few years later a local angler caught and photographed one of the adults. Natural resources officials from the state and federal government responded with swat teams and a media frenzy soon followed. Could the ferocious beast-capable of walking on land and breathing air-enter Chesapeake Bay and destroy native stocks? officers could not catch the beasts, even as local anglers captured more. The pond was sealed off, armies with toxins brought in and over the course of months, it looks like the beast was slain. But we have come to find out that snakeheads are loose elsewhere in America, as are thousands of other introduced species. Was the snakehead story all hype, or was this the right response? Dolin tells the amazing story of the snakehead summer while delving into the larger questions about invasive species in America.

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