Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beware These Invaders

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
Photos courtesy of UMass Extension Services

I'm not referring to Martians, but invasive plants, animals and insects. Perhaps you are already familiar with: Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Hemlock woolly adelgids (Adelges tsugae Annand) and Asian Longhorn Beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis),but that's the short list.

Why should you care about invasive species? Check out Invasive Species 101 - An Introduction to Invasive Species.

I mention all this because I ran into Peter Alden last night, world renowned naturalist, wildlife lecturer, ecotourism guide and the author of 15 books on North American and African wildlife. We met three years ago when I attended a talk he gave on invasive species. I suspect he'll have something to say about the Korean azalea I featured in yesterday's post, beautiful to gaze upon or not, because Peter is extremely passionate about invasive species and the benefits of native plants in the landscape. Talking with him again last night reminded me that increasing awareness of the harm invasive species can do is a cause worth championing.

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