Invasive Species…..What are they and why are they a problem?
The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the major factors contributing to ecosystem change and instability throughout the world. An invasive species is "a non-native species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human, animal, or plant health" (Executive Order 13112, 1999).
Invasive species include all taxa of organisms, ranging from microscopic insects to 100 lb sheep, and can invade any ecosystem, from river beds to lava fields. These species have the ability to displace or eradicate native species, alter fire regimes, damage infrastructure, and threaten human livelihoods. Invasive species are changing the iconic landscapes of our National Parks. Over 6,500 non-native invasive species have been documented on park lands.
The National Park Service is working to manage invasive species on park lands through a suite of national and local programs, each based upon the following strategies: cooperation and collaboration, inventory and monitoring, prevention, early detection and rapid response, treatment and control, and restoration.
To learn more about Invasive Species throughout the National Park Service click here.