Invasive Species Awareness Week
This week February 26 through March 2, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week to raise awareness and help identify solutions to invasive species issues. An invasive species can be any kind of living organism that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm. Species that grow and reproduce quickly, and spread aggressively, with potential to cause harm, are given the label “invasive.” Invasive species are primarily spread by human activities, often unintentionally.
People, and the goods we use, travel around the world very quickly, and they often carry uninvited species with them. One way to curb the spread of invasive species is to plant native plants and remove any invasive plants in your garden. 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. When camping, buy firewood near your campsite instead of bringing your own from home, and leave any extra for the next campers. Invertebrates and plants can easily hitch a ride on firewood you haul to or from a campsite, you could inadvertently introduce an invasive to a new area.
To learn more about invasive species and plants in Missouri visit https://mdc.mo.gov/wildlife/nuisance-problem-species/invasive-species and https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/problem-plant-control/invasive-plants
Stacey Armstrong Smith, Projects Manager