Mini-Blog: Invasive Species
It seems as if the year 2020 can’t seem to get worse, but every time I turn around, there it is, even worse. For small islands like that of Hawaii, 2020 has been particularly difficult to navigate. In addition to the threat of COVID-19 and the ravaging effects it could have on a small disconnected island such as itself, climate change has made the year even more challenging.
Invasive species are increasingly detrimental on small island communities like Hawaii, who have delicate ecosystems that are deeply connected through each organism and their participating contributions to the islands.
Due to the rapid increase of climate change, these invasive species are being given more advantageous opportunities to thrive and exist in these spaces.
In June of 2020, National Geographic Magazine published an article highlighting the different variables that have led to the blooming invasive population of the coqui. The brown tree frog is native to the island of Puerto Rico, where it is cherished and celebrated.
But on the island of Hawaii, this frog is responsible for the decimation of entire species of insects, birds, and plants. Hawaii has developed in such an isolated and delicate manner with unique properties that are a result of the distance between themselves and the mainlands.
As a result, when invasive species infiltrate quiet and isolated environments the impacts on the native species are devastating and tremendous.
But, Hawaii isn’t the only state whose National Forests have been struggling as a result of invasive species. Nearly every National Forest in the United States has been facing a challenging reality of depleted and changed ecosystems as a direct result of invasive species.
It is estimated that more than 6,500 foreign species exist within the United States. To resolve this issue, the United States Department of Agriculture spends around $2.5 Billion dollars annually to combat invasive species.
Despite the enormous bill that the U.S. Department of Agriculture foots annually to fight against invasive species, it isn’t enough. National Park workers need more than money to combat these species. They need your help!
When you’re out in nature and see an invasive species be sure to report it, and if you know the local capturing and eradication procedures, do your part to help eliminate the problem.
To report an invasive species visit: https://www.eddmaps.org/
But, that isn’t all you can do. Using and suggesting compliance programs, such as Plant Sentry™, can help growers protect their customers and environments from numerous invasive species.
Do your part and suggest Plant Sentry™ and report invasive species!
 Photograph courtesy Dr. Steve A. Johnson, & Linkel, P. (2020, June 29). National parks are being overrun by invasive species. Retrieved September 21, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/national-parks/invasive-species-threaten-native-plants-and-animals-visitors-can-help/