Saturday, August 16, 2014

It gets even worse about the Lionfish; now it's the Terminator

Click title for link to the Sun-Sentinel story. Apparently, divers are making a difference as they see smaller lionfish populations in areas that are popular for diving. Many divers hold lionfish "derbies" to see how many and how large of this invasive species they can catch.
A new study from a Oregon State University scientist examined the behavior of red lionfish in the Bahamas and found they are capable of simply wiping out the local population of a species. A news release from the university dubbed the lionfish the "Terminator" species.
Typically, a marine predator will eat a particular kind of fish while they are abundant and then leave after the remaining ones hide themselves away in crevices or vegetation. Not the lionfish.
"It's now clear they will hunt successfully even when only a few fish are present," said the author of the study, Kurt Ingeman, a doctoral student who presented his results at a meeting of the Ecological Society of America. "This behavior is unusual and alarming."