NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES WEEK
National Invasive Species Awareness Week begins the last Monday of February. The week is organized to bring attention to the impacts, prevention, and management of invasive species – and all those who are working toward healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. It highlights risks posed by invasive species that can threaten the economy, environment, and public health. You may see events around the world to help people identify invasive species issues and possible solutions.
The National Wildlife Federation defines invasive species as any living organism – from plants to animals, bacteria to fungi, and even eggs or seeds from an organism that is not native to the ecosystem to which it causes harm. These species often grow and reproduce quickly, and most of the time have no known predators.
Did you know
Did you know that some species native to the US are invasive elsewhere? The EU put together a list of top invaders, and there are some familiar names on that list such as the red squirrel.
Did you know for decades, U.S. fishermen have battled a common invasive species: the Asian Carp. Floods in southern states along the Mississippi River inundated fish ponds where the carp were kept. Now in the river, they’re moving north toward the Great Lakes Along the way they devastate native fish populations and threaten the billion-dollar economies of recreational and commercial fisheries
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalInvasiveSpeciesWeek
- Go online to visit the Bugwood Center for Invasive Species.
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the U.S.D.A. are trustworthy information centers.
- Follow the week on Social Media and look for educational posts. Use the hashtags #InvasiveSpeciesWeek, #bugwood, #bugwoodcenter, #invasive, or #invasivespecies
Seven Practical Steps to stop the spread of invasive species:
1. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles, and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
2. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
3. Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
4. Use forage, hay, mulch, and soil that are certified as “weed-free.”
5. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
6. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities.
7. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES WEEK HISTORY
The first Invasive Species Week took place in 2015, bringing together a range of organizations to raise awareness of invasive non-native species and inspire people to get involved and stop the spread.