Invasive Species Presentations with Ms. Shelia Appel
Did you know that approximately 42% of threatened or endangered species are at risk due to invasive species?
What is invasive species?
An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
Invasive species are among the leading threats to native wildlife. Approximately 42% of threatened or endangered species are at risk due to invasive species.
Human health and economies are also at risk from invasive species. The impacts of invasive species on our natural ecosystems and economy cost billions of dollars each year.
Many of our commercial, agricultural, and recreational activities depend on healthy native ecosystems.
What Makes a Species “Invasive”?
An invasive species can be any kind of living organism—an amphibian (like the cane toad), plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs—that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm. They can harm the environment, the economy, or even human health.
An invasive species does not have to come from another country.
Species that grow and reproduce quickly, and spread aggressively, with potential to cause harm, are given the label “invasive.”
How Invasive Species Spread?
Invasive species are mainly unintentionally spread by human activities. People, and the goods we use, travel around the world very quickly, and they often carry uninvited species with them.
How to help stop invasive species?
One way to limit the spread of invasive species is to plant native plants and remove any invasive plants in your garden.
Moreover, learn to identify invasive species in your area, and report any sightings to your county extension agent or local land manager.
Some examples of invasive pests in Pennsylvania include the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Zebra Mussel, Brown Marmorated Stinkbug, and the Japanese Beetle.
Notably, one of the major invasive animals of Pennsylvania, and the United States as a whole, is the feral hog.
You can also regularly clean your boots, gear, boat, tires, and any other equipment you use outdoors to remove insects and plant parts that may spread invasive species to new places.
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