National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Feb. 21, 2013

Here are just a few things you should know about invasive species and opportunities for becoming involved in identifying invasive species.

What is an invasive species? 

A species is considered invasive when it is both non-native to the ecosystem in which it is found and it is capable of causing environmental, economic or human harm.  These species thrive in their new ecosystem to the point of displacing native species and disrupting important ecosystem processes.

 What is the ecosystem impact of invasive species?

  • Displacement of native species
  • Degrade and reduce native wildlife habitat
  • Disrupt natural ecosystem processes
  • Reduce forest productivity and health

 What are some invasive species in Ohio?

  • Insects such as the Asian longhorned beetle and Hemlockwoolly adelgid (HWA)
  • Plants such as the ornamental pears
  • Pathogens such as the boxwood blight 
  • White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

 How can I learn more about Invasive Species?

The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program part of OSU’s School of Environment and Natural Resources Extension/Outreach program has a number of publications and factsheets on their website you can access to learn more about invasive species.  There are also a number of educational outreach programs planned for 2013 that address invasive species such as Ohio's Non-Native Invasives Professionals Workshop, May 17, 2013 on The Ohio State University's Mansfield Campus. The Mississippi River Basin Panel (MRBP) on Aquatic Nuisance Species, a regional advisory panel representing Ohio will be hosting its' annual meeting in July at the Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park on The Ohio State University campus.  To learn more about aquatic invasive species and the MRBP, contact:  Eugene C. Braig IV, Program Director, Aquatic Ecosystems, School of Environment and Natural Resources. 

How can I help in identifying and reporting suspected invasive species?

There is a new tool – a smart phone app - launched by the Great Lakes Early Detection Network you can use to identify and report suspected invasive species. Learn more about how you can get involved in early detection here.