What is an Invasive Species?
...occur within their natural, historic range, are adapted to the local climate, have co-evolved with other native plants and animals, have pests and pathogens that keep their populations in equilibrium, form the basis of the food web, and maintain the biodiversity that is so important for environmental resiliency.
...are any non-native species (plant, animal, insect, etc.) that when introduced to a new area, can be harmful to humans, animals, or ecosystems. They arrive here through a variety of means with no natural pests, pathogens, or predators to keep their populations in control. Invasive species aggressively compete with native species.
Invasive species cause negative ecological, social, and economic harm:
- Decrease biodiversity
- Destroy wildlife habitat and crowd out native plants, including Species at Risk
- Reduce soil stability and water quality
- Alter fire regimes
- Threaten health and safety
- Puncture, poke, and scratch with their spines, burs, and prickles
- Create traffic hazards (by obstructing sightlines)
- Reduce the aesthetic appeal of the landscape
- Decrease water quality
- Reduce crop yields and quality
- Can poison livestock
- Lower property values
- Destroy infrastructure
- Compete with tree seedlings during reforestation efforts
- Are costly to manage