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America Pikas are found from the Sierra Nevada to the Rocky Mountains, and have been migrating to higher elevations. Jon LeVasseur / Flickr / Public Domain

By Jenny Morber

Caribbean corals sprout off Texas. Pacific salmon tour the Canadian Arctic. Peruvian lowland birds nest at higher elevations.

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At least 27 states have warned their residents not to plant any seeds they receive from mysterious, unsolicited packages that appear to have been sent from China. Washington State Department of Agriculture / Twitter

At least 27 states have warned their residents not to plant any seeds they receive from mysterious, unsolicited packages that appear to have been sent from China, The New York Times reported Sunday.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

KESSR

By John R. Platt

It takes a lot of effort and more than a little bit of luck for researchers like André Raine to get to the remote mountaintops of Kauai, where they're working to save endangered Hawaiian seabirds from extinction.

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The rosy wolfsnail has devastated native snail populations in the Pacific since it was introduced in the 1950s. Tim Ross

The introduction of invasive species has been the primary cause of plant and animal extinctions over the past 500 years, a new study from University College London's (UCL) Center for Biodiversity and Environment Research found.

The study, published Monday in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, looked at 953 extinctions since 1500 and found that 126 of them, or 13 percent, had been caused entirely by alien species, while 300 were caused partly by the arrival of new species, according to a UCL press release published by EurekAlert!

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An invasive Amynthas worm, also known as a crazy snake worm, Asian jumping worm and Alabama jumper Tom Potterfield / Flickr

By Jason Bittel

My wife and I built a house two years ago on a few acres of woodland outside of Pittsburgh. The backyard is full of maples, poplars, briars and common spicebush. Two-lined salamanders and grumpy-looking crayfish wade among the rocks in the small stream that runs down the edge of the property. Deer, raccoon and opossum tracks appear regularly in the snow and mud. Sometimes, my trail-cam even catches a pair of gray foxes as they slink through the night.

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Women gather chestnuts in Spain's Genal Valley. Gary John Norman / Photodisc / Getty Images

The Genal Valley in Southern Spain is famous for its sweet chestnuts, and that could give the economically struggling region a huge boost as vegans and vegetarians in Northern Europe develop a taste for Castanea sativa. But a new threat is putting the valley's reputation, and future, at risk, BBC News reported Tuesday.

"We've lost at least 30% of our usual production," farmer Julio Ruiz told BBC News. "It is all the fault of a small wasp."

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Swift parrot. Dejan Stojanovic / ANU

Tasmania's swift parrots can't catch a break. Logging has reduced their preferred blue gum breeding habitat by a third in the past 20 years. Sugar gliders, a kind of nocturnal possum introduced in the 1800s, are gobbling up female parrots at an alarming rate. And now, The Guardian reported Tuesday, scientists have found that the skewed male-to-female ratio is changing the mating habits of the endangered species in a way that puts its survival further at risk.

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Kyle Penniston with the 17.5-foot-long python. South Florida Water Management District / Kyle Penniston

Earlier this week, a Florida man caught and killed a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python in the Miami-Dade County Everglades.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) praised Homestead-based hunter Kyle Penniston's record-setting catch for its Python Elimination Program. Weighing 120 pounds, she was certainly a big one and she even bit Penniston's hand before she was shot on Monday night, according to his Facebook post.

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A captured Burmese python in the Florida Everglades. Susan Jewell / USFWS

Burmese pythons have long posed a threat to the indigenous wildlife in Everglades National Park since pet owners abandoned a few of them there in the 1980s, The Guardian reported.

They have displaced American alligators as the Everglades' top predators and have been found responsible for putting a dent in the populations of raccoons, opossums and bobcats, according to The National Parks Traveler.

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A diver with Hawaii's Division of Aquatic Resources removes invasive algae from a reef using a "super sucker" vacuum. DAR

Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the state of Hawaii's Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) have developed an innovative method of removing invasive macroalgae that can smother coral reefs, the University of Hawaii reported Aug. 9.

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The Asian long-horned tick. James Gathany / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An invasive tick species was found to have spread to an eighth state Tuesday, when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced one was found on a deer in Washington County, The Washington Post reported.

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