Invasive Species - Rochester, NY area
Consider why the Invasive Species issue is important to Rochesterians and our environment
We should be aware of the various invasive species in our area because they can wreak havoc. When an invasive species arrives, they usually do not have any natural enemies and they can, over time, change our area's ecology.
The Purple Loosestrife, for example was brought to North America from Europe as a decorative plant spices, which it is, but it now covers our fields, pushing out endemic plant species, which in turn changes our pollinating insects many of which do not have any use for this new plant. Our Rochester area is not immune from the environmental problem of invasive species. This page points out some the invasive species in our area, including plants and animals, resources to find out more about this issue, and recent news stories about them in our local media.
What’s the harm? Find out about invasive species in our area, what they are, why you should care, and what you can do about them. Brought in or slipped in, either way they challenge our environment. Invasive Species: Information, Images, Videos, Distribution Maps The Global Invasive Species Team... ...is part of The Nature Conservancy's response to abating the damage caused to native biodiversity by the human-facilitated introduction of non-native, harmful invasive species. This web site provides many resources designed to help all conservationists deal most effectively with invasive species.
Join in discussions about what can and should be done about invasive species in our area.
- The Asian Carp is coming! That’s the big environmental story around the Great Lakes region this week. Even the local press has caught the news appeal of a bizarre foreign species that might radically change the Great Lakes’ ecology. Because of its size and reproductive capacity, it may scarf up all those little plants and animals that live at the bottom of the five Great Lakes, which, the present ecology depends on. More intriguing to the media are those riveting photos of speeding boaters smacking into these large creatures, which freak every time they hear motorboat noise and leap into the air. I say ‘might’ because no one can prove that if the Asian Carp makes it way up the Mississippi and into the Great Lakes, they will proliferate and eat everything in site. Though, given their past rap sheet, it’s a good bet they will. more...
- Green Isolationism Isolationists, most notably George Washington in his farewell address “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible,” believe that one’s territory can be contained, one’s sovereignty sustained by removing oneself from the rest. And while it was probably wise council for a young nation to stay out of ‘political connections’ as we built our new nation, isolationism of any kind really is not possible in today’s world. Isolation is only an illusion, especially in our environment. Connections are the rule. A sand storm in Africa gives Central American’s asthma. more...
- Solving Invasive Problems This story about VHS describes perfectly how difficult it is going to be to curb the problem of invasive species and disease in the Great Lakes because ultimately without public support all the regulations and laws in the world won’t stop this kind of disease spread. more...
- Hope for a Messy World One would think that the days of a monolithic weltanschauung are over, where singular views of religion, culture, ideas, even prejudices, once ruled. Now, it’s not only unfashionable, but positively Neanderthal to be continually captivated by a single view of life. Makes you look stodgy. Yet, I tenaciously hold (despite many discussions to the contrary) that Nature rules. Moreover, it will do so even in Rochester. This seems to be an unpopular single-mindedness because in this Recession the “World is Flat” view means keep changing or you’ll get run over by new ideas, new economic models, and especially the Internet. The prevailing thinking seems to be: in this modern world, you had better streamline your operation. Better just paint yourself green and not go the whole hog. And, quite frankly, harping on environmental issues bores and annoys a lot of people—though given the wholesale consequences of environmental collapse (Think Easter Island in that chapter in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared M. Diamond) not obsessing on our environment at this moment in history seems foolhardy. more...
What you can do about invasive species in the Rochester, NY area.
- Locate Invasive Species in our area: The Invasive Plant Council of NYS IPC has developed an Early Detection list for each of the eight PRISM regions in the state (see PRISM map at bottom of page). Each of the plants listed below is on the Early Detection List for one or more PRISMs.
- Don't be the cause of Invasive Species: New York State Integrated Pest Management Program: We develop sustainable ways to manage pests and help people to use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks.
Several branches of government address our on-going issue with invasive species
- Invasive Species List Report - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "The New York Invasive Species Council has completed a final report: A Regulatory System for Non-native Species (PDF, 1.32 MB). The report recommends a regulatory system for preventing the importation and/or release of non-native species. The recommended system would create the first-ever official lists of invasive species for New York State that would apply to all species of animals and plants."
- FINAL REPORT of the NEW YORK STATE INVASIVE SPECIES TASK FORCE Fall 2005 "In response to the growing problem of invasive species, in 2003, Governor Pataki signed legislation sponsored by Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman DiNapoli. Chapter 324 of the Laws of New York of 2003 called for an Invasive Species Task Force to explore the invasive species issue and to provide recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by November 2005. The statute describes the intended membership of the Task Force and directs that it be co-led by two New York State agencies: Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM "
- Nuisance & Invasive Species - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment or to human health. As a threat to our biodiversity, they have been judged second only to habitat loss. Invasives come from all around the world; the rate of invasion is increasing along with the increase in international trade that accompanies globalization. Invasive species have caused many problems in the past, are causing problems now, and pose threats to our future. A wide variety of species are problematic for many sectors of our world: our ecosystems, including both all natural systems and also managed forests; our food supply, including not only agriculture but also harvested wildlife, fish and shellfish; our built environments, including landscaping, infrastructure, industry, gardens, and pets. Invasive species have implications, too, for recreation and for human health.
- MapInvasives Invasive species are widely considered to be one the greatest threats to biodiversity (Wilson, 2001). This is a nationwide problem encompassing many different non-native plants, animals, and even microbial pathogens. There are many individuals, public agencies and private organizations working to manage invasive species. Having access to strategic invasive species location information can support and enhance this important invasive species management work.
- National Invasive Species Information Center National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC): gateway to invasive species information; covering Federal, State, local, and international sources.
- Invasive Species | Oceans, Coasts and Estuaries | US EPA Invasive species means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species are one of the largest threats to our terrestrial, coastal and freshwater ecosystems, as well as being a major global concern. Invasive species can affect aquatic ecosystems directly or by affecting the land in ways that harm aquatic ecosystems. Invasive species represent the second leading cause of species extinction and loss of biodiversity in aquatic environments worldwide
- NY Invasive Species Welcome to NYIS.INFO, the website of the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse. NYIS.INFO is your gateway to science-based information, breaking news, and new and innovative tools to prevent, detect, control and manage biological invaders in New York. NYIS.INFO links scientific research, State and Federal management programs and policy information, outreach education and grassroots invasive species action to help you become part of the battle against invasive species in and around New York.
- Invasive Species | USGS Great Lakes Science Center Since the 1800’s, over 136 species of exotic algae, fish, invertebrates, and plants have become established in the Great Lakes. As human activity has increased in the region, particularly with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the rate of successful introduction of exotic species has surged. More than 1/3 of these invasive organisms were introduced since the 1960s and many now dominate the aquatic community in both numbers and biomass. The most problematic invasive species include alewife, common carp, Eurasian ruffe, Eurasian water milfoil, purple loosestrife, quagga mussel, rainbow smelt, round goby, rusty crayfish, sea lamprey, spiny waterflea, and the zebra mussel. These species alone have contributed to massive extinctions of native fauna, severe alterations in local food webs, and the zebra mussel alone has resulted in millions of dollars of damage to local water users such as municipalities and industries. While many of these exotics have been in the Great Lakes for over a decade, recent increases in disease outbreaks (e.g., botulism and thiamine deficiency syndrome); blue-green algal blooms; loss of key invertebrates such as Diporeia in lakes Michigan, Ontario, and Huron; decline in recruitment and body condition of important native fish such as lake whitefish in Lake Huron; and an expansion of the “dead zone” in Lake Erie, indicate severe ongoing ecosystem oscillations in many parts of the Great Lakes.
- United States Department of Agriculture
- National Aquatic Invasive Species Database
- AsianCarp.us - Leading the way in Asian carp control and management. "Welcome to Asiancarp.us, where you can find up-to-date information on the efforts to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Interest and involvement from the public is essential to preventing the spread of this formidable invasive species. We hope this site provides a useful tool for you learn more about Asian carp, as well as the multi-tiered and collaborative actions underway to keep them from establishing in the Great Lakes, and how you can participate in this effort. "
A list of plants that are invasive to our area
- Invasive Plants "The Invasive Plants website contains information on invasive plants, their impact on native species, and their control (particularly biological control). The web pages focus on work conducted by students and staff of the Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program, directed by Bernd Blossey, at Cornell University. The majority of our work concerns species and ecosystems in northeastern North America, but most species we work with are distributed widely through North America. We invite you to explore this website and to participate or contribute to ongoing research projects."
- Welcome to the Purple Pages! "This is the homepage of the Purple Loosestrife Project at Michigan State University. Explore these pages to learn more about our biological control project, which engages citizens and young adults in the control of purple loosestrife using the plant’s own natural enemies.
- Purple Loosestrife InfoCentre-- an excellent resource for finding about the Purple Loosestrife, recent new stories on this issue, and photos also
- Purple Loosestrife at Montezuma "Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge has been, and will remain, a key area for research on the management and control of purple loosestrife. In part, this is due to the fact that the refuge has suffered one of the nation's worst infestations of loosestrife over the past 45 years."
- Giant Hogweed Noxious Weed Identification Giant Hogweed is originally from Asia and was introduced as an ornamental. A member of the parsley family, its most impressive characteristic is its massive size. It reaches a height of 10 to 15 feet when in flower and has hollow stems, 2 to 4 inches in diameter with dark reddish-purple spots and bristles. --King County, Washington
- Pales Weevil - FIDL The pales weevil, Hylobius pales (Herbst),4 is the most serious insect pest of pine seedlings in the Eastern United States. Great numbers of adult weevils are attracted to freshly cutover pine lands where they breed in stumps and old root systems. Seedlings planted in freshly cut areas are injured or killed by adult weevils that feed on the stem bark. It is not uncommon to have 30 to 60 percent weevil-caused mortality among first-year seedlings in the South, and mortality of 90 percent or more has been recorded. In the North, pales weevil is also destructive to pine and other conifers grown for Christmas trees. --from Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry - USDA Forest Service
- Hydrilla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Hydrilla is naturalised and invasive in the United States following release in the 1960s from aquariums into waterways in Florida. It is now established in the southeast from Connecticut to Texas, and also in California. By the 1990s control and management were costing millions of dollars each year. "
- European frog-bit Hydrocharis morsus-rana "Frogbit is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but it was introduced to Canada in the 1930s and has become invasive in eastern Canada and the northeastern USA, particularly around the Great Lakes. It is considered a pest in this region as it colonises waterways and forms dense masses of vegetation on the surface, threatening native biodiversity, although in its native areas it is rarely dominant. " Wikipedia
Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) "The US Army Corps of Engineers in collaboration with our study partners have published the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) White Paper: Non-Native Species of Concern and Dispersal Risk for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study. The purpose of the ANS White Paper is to catalog potential non-native species within the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and identify which ANS of concern will be an initial focus in GLMRIS. " Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS)
Isolationists, most notably George Washington in his farewell address “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible,” believe that one’s territory can be contained, one’s sovereignty sustained by removing oneself from the rest. And while it was probably wise council for a young nation to stay out of ‘political connections’ as we built our new nation, isolationism of any kind really is not possible in today’s world. Isolation is only an illusion, especially in our environment. Connections are the rule. A sand storm in Africa gives Central American’s asthma.
What happens in Buffalo, or Quebec, or Pennsylvania (where the Genesee River begins), the Hudson River, the Adirondacks, Syracuse, and Ohio in terms of their pollution, their air quality, the species that have invaded them, global warming studies that they’ve done all make isolationism absurd. As the invasive Emerald Ash Borer makes its way into southern New York counties, we should prepare here. We should understand and share the information.
Americans pride ourselves on being unique, standing on one’s own, being free and allowed to pursue Happiness—as one envisions it. However, as time goes on, as we mature as a species, we are learning that what we do matters to others despite our best intensions. Only in our minds can we litter, pollute, overuse resources, and not affect every living thing on the planet. [One can get a sense of this in the 2004 film, “The Fever” where it dawns on an urban sophisticate that everything she does affects how others in other parts of the world live.] more...
Our area's open fields are becomming littered with this beautiful, but nuisance invasive species - Photo by Frank J. Regan
Closeup of the Purple Loosestrife - Photo by Frank J. Regan
above scripts from Dynamic Drive
A list of invasive wildlife species that are invading our region...
- Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee Leading the way in Asian carp control and management. "The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee with support from federal, state, and local agencies, and other private stakeholder entities, will create a sustainable Asian carp control program to prevent introduction and implement actions to protect and maintain the integrity and safety of the Great Lakes ecosystem from an Asian carp invasion via all viable pathways. The goals and actions of the ACRCC are outlined in the 2011 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework and the 2011 Monitoring and Rapid Response plan. "
- Emerald Ash Borer - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Please note: If you have ash trees, stop and learn more before you act. The potential threat of emerald ash borer (EAB) is real; however, acting without understanding the specific threat to your trees, regulations and quarantines, and your options, could cause the unnecessary loss of treasured shade trees, or loss of substantial income from your woodlot.
- Emerald Ash Borer This Web site is part of a multinational effort in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Canada to bring you the latest information about emerald ash borer.
- Zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, are small, fingernail-sized, freshwater mollusks accidentally introduced to North America via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel. Since their introduction in the mid 1980s, they have spread rapidly to all of the Great Lakes and an increasing number of inland waterways in the United States and Canada. This invasive species represents what happens when an invasive species takes hold in a area, as I have watched the progress of this species since the mid 1980's. Now many of our lakes have been redefined by the Zebra Mussel, their ecology forever changed.
- Northern snakehead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "The northern snakehead (Channa argus) is a type of snakehead fish native to China, Russia, and Korea. In the United States, the fish is considered to be a highly invasive species. In a well-known incident, several were found in a pond in Crofton, Maryland in June 2002, which led to major media coverage and two movies about the incident, Snakehead Terror and Frankenfish. "
- Feral Swine - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "Many people are aware of the feral swine problem in southern states like Texas and Florida, but these animals are also a growing problem in New York. Also called feral pigs, feral hogs, wild boar, wild hogs, razorbacks, Eurasian wild boar, and Russian wild boar, feral swine are a harmful and destructive invasive species. "
- Gypsy Moth -FIDL "The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar Linnaeus, is one of the most notorious pests of hardwood trees in the Eastern United States. Since 1980, the gypsy moth has defoliated close to a million or more forested acres each year. In 1981, a record 12.9 million acres were defoliated. This is an area larger than Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut combined. "
- Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Alert The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a serious pest of hemlock in the northeastern United States.
- Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), commonly abbreviated as HWA, is a true bug native to East Asia that feeds by sucking sap from hemlock trees (Tsuga spp.). In eastern North America, it is a destructive pest that poses a major threat to the eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and the Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) - Wikipedia
- Asian Clam "Corbicula fluminea is a species of freshwater clam, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Corbiculidae. This species is of originally mainly Asian origin and thus it is often commonly called Asian clam or Asiatic clam. In the aquarium and koi pond trade it is often called Golden Clam or Golden Freshwater Clam. In Southeast Asia it is known as the prosperity clam or good luck clam." Wikipedia
- Spotted Wing Drosophila "Distribution: Becoming established throughout Northeast; first detected in NY in 2011 Background: Originally from Asia, spotted wing drosophila (SWD) first showed up in California in about 2005 and has spread north into Oregon, Washington, and western Canada, south into Florida and recently was reported at significant numbers in North Carolina and Michigan. In 2011 SWD was reported throughout the Northeast. SWD looks superficially like your everyday Vinegar Fly Drosophila melanogaster of genetics fame, but vinegar flies are generally not a serious economic threat to fruit growers. " Cornell University
- The bloody red mysid shrimp "The bloody-red mysid, Hemimysis anomala, is a shrimp-like crustacean in the Mysida order, native to the Ponto-Caspian region, which has been spreading across Europe since the 1950s. In 2006, it was discovered to haveinvaded the North American Great Lakes." Wikipedia
Some sites that inform about how invasive species affect our environment
- Stop the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle "America’s neighborhoods and forests are under attack. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has destroyed millions of ash trees. It lives in firewood. Move firewood and you spread the destruction. Help us protect the trees — and stop the beetle. Promise you won’t move firewood. "
- Protect Your Waters and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers. Throughout history, man has experimented with intentional introductions of exotic plant and animal species for a variety of reasons. While many introductions have produced beneficial results, a very small minority has created significant negative impacts.
- Invasive Species - Invasive Species Initiative, Invasive Species Education and biodiversity --from The Nature Conservancy - Protecting Nature, Preserving Life