Thursday, April 26, 2007

Know Your Natives, Non-Natives, and Invasives

I thought about writing this post after seeing a ton of Celandine at a local birding spot on Monday. If you're into nature and teaching others about nature, it's your duty to learn the native, non-native, and invasive species of flora and fauna in your area. Most birders know about Starlings and House Sparrows, but may not be as familiar with plants like Celandine, Garlic Mustard, and Tree-of-Heaven. These three plants are among the many invasive species that probably occur in your area. Learning these species can help you identify problem areas in your favorite birding location or in your own backyard. You can take that knowledge and share it with family members, friends, and other birders. Hopefully, by identifying problem species in your area, you can help get the right people involved to control the populations where possible. The Plant Conservation Alliance, part of the National Parks Service, has an excellent web site listing the worst of the worst invasive plants. It's by no means a comprehensive list. Your may have specific plants that are unique to your area. Also, keep in mind that just because a plant is a native doesn't mean that it's non-invasive. Any plant can be invasive under the right (or wrong) circumstances.

There are many great resources out there on all types of invasive flora and fauna. The Invasive Species Weblog is a great place to start.

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