(Washington State University Photo)
Not all non-native plants present the same degree of threat to native plants and animals. Those capable of rapid spread are often called invasive weeds. Those with serious economic impacts are designated as noxious weeds. Noxious weeds affecting Craters of the Moon include spotted and diffuse knapweeds, leafy spurge, Canada thistle, Dyer's woad and rush skeletonweed. Non-native invasive weeds are a significant threat to the remaining pristine vegetation communities within the monument. Management of noxious weed infestations through prevention of new introductions and by control or elimination of existing infestations is a high priority resource issue for the National Park Service at Craters of the Moon.
Several non-native birds make their homes at Craters. Some species such as Chukar or Gray Partridge may not have a significant impact on native species. Others can be a serious problem for native species. These problems range from Rock Doves which can change the nutrient levels in caves to Starlings and English Sparrows, which evict native birds from their nests. Craters is working with neighboring agencies and landowners to identify, locate, control and where feasible eradicate non-native species that threaten our natural resources. The issue of non-native species is likely to receive continued attention at Craters and around the world for many years to come.
Invasive Species Information
Did You Know?
Moonscape?...At first glance the landscape of Craters of the Moon appears to be devoid of life. Look deeper and you will observe a rich diversity of life including more than 750 types of plants and almost 300 animal species (not including insects!). More...