New computer tool tracks down online invasive species sales

(Krystal Vivian/95.3 MNC)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An agency that represents the eight Great Lakes states says it has developed a tool that can help track down aquatic invasive species that are being sold on the Internet.

The Great Lakes Commission says the tool uses advanced technologies to search the web for sites where people can buy the foreign organisms and have them shipped to the region.

More than 180 exotic species are known to exist in the Great Lakes. Some have spread across huge areas, out-competing native species, destroying habitat and unraveling food chains.

The commission has received a $340,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help invasive species managers around the region use the computer tool, known as the Great Lakes Detector of Invasive Aquatics in Trade, or GLDIATR.

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