ITHACA, N.Y. — This week is New York state’s sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW). The theme of ISAW 2019 is “Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report!” and highlights the importance of detecting infestations of invasive species early, which increases the success of response efforts.
Carrie Brown-Lima, director of the New York Invasive Species Research Institute at Cornell University, is an expert in invasive species issues. She says hydrilla and the hemlock woolly adelgid are some of the most problematic invasive species in New York and by making efforts to help stop the spread of the species we can reduce damages they cause.
“Invasive species are species that come from another place, usually with human assistance, and once they become established and spread, they cause harm to our economy, ecosystems and even our own health. We have hundreds of invasive species here in New York state that are causing damage to our waterways, our forests and fields, and our agricultural crops.
“The spotted lanternfly is one of our most concerning species right now. It was transported from Asia on slabs of granite and introduced into Pennsylvania in 2014. It has since been wreaking havoc on vineyards, apple orchards, hop crops and may even be threatening our native trees. It is only a matter of time before it reaches New York borders.
“Other high impact species such as hydrilla have been spreading throughout our waterways and can choke out native species and make recreation difficult. The hemlock woolly adelgid is another invasive species of concern. This forest pest that is marching north and causing widespread mortality of Hemlock trees, a keystone species in New York forests.
“By being aware of the threat these species pose, reporting them and helping to not spreading them further, we can all help reduce the damages that they cause.”