Invasive Species Awareness Week

New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week “Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report” July 7-13


Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report

New York State's sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be celebrated July 7-13. ISAW is an educational campaign featuring statewide events that encourage New Yorkers to help protect the state's resources from the negative impacts of invasive species. This year’s theme is "Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report" which highlights the importance of detecting infestations of invasive species early, thereby increasing the success of response efforts. Details on events are here https://www.catskillinvasives.com/events

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects, or diseases that can cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. They cause or contribute to degradation and loss of habitat, loss of native fish, wildlife, and plant species, loss of recreational opportunities and associated income, damage to crops and nursery stock, health issues in humans and livestock and risks to public safety. Invaders can be introduced intentionally (like when non-native plants are sold at nurseries and escape from gardens) or unintentionally (like when insects hitch rides in wooden crates). Since New York State is a hub for international trade and travel, our state has one of the highest rates of non-native introductions and invasive species are a constant threat to our resources.

Combatting invasive species may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easy for New Yorkers to make small changes to their daily routine. Hikers can remove seeds from clothing, boots and equipment before and after heading out on a trail. Gardeners can take care to use native plants when gardening and landscaping and inspect the contents of seed packets for invasive plants. Boaters can clean plant material and mud from their watercraft and gear before and after leaving a boat launch. Campers can buy local firewood to prevent the spread of forest pests and diseases. The public can also utilize iMapInvasives, New York’s invasive species database, to help report invasive species populations.

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is coordinated by the New York Invasive Species Advisory Committee, New York Invasive Species Council and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management. CRISP is one of eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) in the state.

Credit: https://www.smithsonianmag.com

Credit: https://www.smithsonianmag.com

Invasive Alert: Jumping Worm (Amynthas spp.)

The Jumping, or Crazy Worms (Amynthas spp.) impact our forest soils and may consume the forest duff layer, which provides habitat for native plants and wildlife. These worms may also be destructive to turf and ornamental plantings.  We only have a few reports in our area.  Identification and background information on Jumping Worms is now available from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties Master Gardeners HERE: http://alturl.com/jbuk6  Make sure you check out the cool clamation video here

If you see a Jumping Worm in the CRISP region, please report it to http://www.nyimapinvasives.org/ 

Here are confirmed observations: https://tinyurl.com/y9cbtdvu 

Credit: https://dnr.wi.gov

Credit: https://dnr.wi.gov

Early Detection

Once an invasive species becomes established, the only remediation action possible is the partial mitigation of negative impacts of the invasive. The goal of Early detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) efforts are to increase the likelihood that invasions will be eradicated before they become established. A CRISP priority early detection list was developed based on the following criteria:

  • Species is capable of invading forest or riparian habitats such as those present within CRISP

  • Species can be spread within the region, and

  • Known, problematic infestations already established within CRISP.


CRISP Priority Early Detection Species


Persicaria perfoliata                         Mile-A-Minute 

Brachypodium sylvaticum               Slender False Brome 

Aralia elata                                         Japanese Angelica-tree

Syringia reticulata                             Japanese Tree Lilac 

Impatiens glandulifera                     Himalayan Balsam


Hydrilla verticillata                           Hydrilla

Ludwigia peploides                           Floating Primrose-willow

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae             Common Frogbit

Nymphoides peltata                         Yellow Floatingheart

Egeria densa                                       Brazilian waterweed 

Cabomba caroliniana                        Carolina fanwor


Surveys were performed for Early Detection terrestrial plants and for forest pests during the summers of 2016 and 2017.  Through a program established by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Nicolas Echevarria was selected as the 2017 Catskill Invasive Species Campground Steward and worked for 14 weeks beginning on May 22nd.  Nico performed Early Detection surveys for high priority Early Detection terrestrial plants and forest pests on the eight DEC Campgrounds in the Catskills region.  All high-risk areas at each campground, such as campsites, buildings and trailheads, were surveyed between June 8th and July 27th.  Campgrounds are a high-risk area for invasive species infestation because visitors traveling from outside our region can potentially be vectors for invasive species movement.  One targeted plant infestation was found-Himalayan Balsam was found along the boundary of the Beaverkill Campground.


Integrated pest management (IPM) involves using both pesticides and biological controls to combat invasive species. It can be difficult to use in some cases because the pesticide can impact the biological control population as much as that of the invasive species. Until recently, the impacts of insecticides on Laricobius nigrinus, the biological control of choice in New York, was under question.

New research from Georgia reveals that using an integrated chemical and biological approach for combating hemlock woolly adelgid can result in better hemlock health and a reduction in adelgid numbers without greatly impacting Laricobius populations.

Feral Swine Elimination

In 2017 the last feral swine was removed from New York State, leading the USDA to classify New York a feral swine “elimination state.” This was following efforts by he USDA wildlife service to eliminate and monitor feral swine in New York starting in 2008. The focus of these efforts is now continued monitoring after elimination, and the public's’ help is vital to these continuing efforts.

Feral swine is a very destructive species that has accounted in over $1 million in damage and control costs in New York. They pose threats to many aspects of their environment, and their destruction can harm water and natural resource quality, as well as agricultural industries. They are also very difficult to control once a population is established, due to their high breeding rate, lack of natural predators, and intelligence.

Luckily, due to their timely and aggressive efforts, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and USDA wildlife service managed to remove 209 feral swine between 2008 and 2016, accounting for swine in 16 counties, including breeding populations in 6.

Regulations are a crucial part of New York's continued management strategy; as of 2013 it is illegal to import, breed or release Eurasian boars as well as to possess sell, distribute, trade or transport them in New York State. As of 2014, there is also a ban on hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boar statewide, with some exceptions provided for landowners and agency personnel.

Early detection and public knowledge are also a critical part of continued monitoring, and Wildlife Services in NY investigates every report made about potential feral swine sightings and uses these reports as part of our early detection network. If you would like to make a report or would like to learn more about feral swine in New York, please use the contact information below.

Katie Long Wildlife Specialist USDA-APHIS, Wildlife Services

518-948-7743 Kathryn.k.long@aphis.usda.gov 




Aquatic Invasive
Discovered in
Cayuga Lake

September 5, 2013:

The aggressive aquatic plant Water thyme, Hydrilla verticillata, was found last week in Cayuga Lake. Hailing from Asia, many scientists consider Water thyme the most problematic of all aquatic invasive plants. In favorable conditions, the plant is capable of growing an inch a day, smothering native plant species and clogging waterways.

Water thyme tolerates a range of growing conditions and can inhabit water from a few inches deep to thirty feet in depth.  Although the plant prefers slow moving water, it has recently been found in the fast moving waters of Fall Creek, also in Cayuga County.  Its recent foothold in Cayuga Lake makes it unlikely Water thyme will be exterminated in New York since Cayuga Lake holds too much water for known eradication measures.

Introduced by the aquarium trade in Florida in the 1960s, Water thyme currently is present in numerous states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and of course, New York.  This most recent find in Cayuga Lake highlights the importance of early detection and rapid response reporting when it comes to preventing invasive species from taking over our waterways.  If detected early, invasive species are controllable and management costs can be kept low.

For more detailed information about water thyme and other aquatic invasives visit www.nyis.info.

Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.com

Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.com