Sunday marked the start of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (February 21st – 27th). This is a joint promotional effort between a number of private organizations and governmental agencies to educate the American public on invasive species. Though invasive species don’t receive as much media coverage as climate change, habitat loss or human persecution the threat they pose to our natural heritage is significant;
- There are more than 6,500 invasive species established in the United States.
- The annual economic impact (damages and control measures) of invasive species in the US exceeds $138 billion.
- Invasive species are considered to be a factor in the decline of more than 1/3 of the species recognized and threatened or endangered in the United States.
- Invasive plant species occupy approximately 133 million acres of land in the United States (an area the size of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky).
- Invasive species are the leading factor in the endangerments and extinctions of freshwater fish in the United States over the last century.
You can learn about National Invasive Species Awareness Week at http://www.nisaw.org/
You can also learn more about invasive species and the efforts being made to control them by linking to these participating organizations;
Weed Science Society of America http://wssa.net/
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health http://www.bugwood.org/
Environmental Law Institute http://www.eli.org/
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies http://www.fishwildlife.org/
National Association of Invasive Plant Councils http://www.na-ipc.org/
The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force http://www.anstaskforce.gov/default.php
Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds http://www.fs.fed.us/ficmnew/
The Nature Conservancy http://www.nature.org/
The National Invasive Species Council https://www.doi.gov/invasivespecies
Reduce Risks from Invasive Species Coalition https://www.rrisc.org/