Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meet your Illinois Invaders!

The focus of this website and news blog is to raise awareness about invasive species in Illinois.  Perhaps one of the easiest ways to do this is to simply show some pictures of the species that are invading Illinois.  Below are images of just a few of the invasive species here in the state.  If you want to learn more about these species or find information on the rest of the invaders, go to our species of concern page at:  http://www.invasive.org/illinois/SpeciesofConcern.html

Asian Carp


One of the best known (and ugliest!) invasive species in Illinois.  'Asian Carp' actually refers to two species, silver carp (top of picture) and bighead carp (bottom of picture).


And yes, they do jump (at least the silver carp do)

Emerald Ash Borer

David Cappaert, bugwood.org

Another invader that has been in the news a lot lately.  Emerald ash borer, even though it isn't a strong flier, is actually spreading rapidly across the state.

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Of course their spread is aided by us when we move firewood around.  A fact that has prompted posters and publications such as the one above.

Garlic Mustard

The little green herb that could.  Garlic mustard has marched across Illinois and can now be found invading woodlands across the state.

Thousand Cankers Disease

Whitney Cranshaw, bugwood.org

This invader is actually not in Illinos yet, but we are keeping an eye out for it.  This disease is caused by a fungus and vectored by an insect.  It attacks black walnuts and poses a big threat here in our walnut-rich state.

Leafy Spurge

It's time to purge the spurge!  I've always thought this was a weird-looking plant with its strange, greenish-yellow flowers.  It's in northern Illinois and we want it out of the state.

Zebra Mussel

USGS, bugwood.org

Zebra mussel and its cousin the Quagga mussel are small mollusks but big problems.  These two can clog up water pipes, choke out native mussels, and generally wreak havoc to aquatic systems.

Bush Honeysuckle

This shrub can change a forest like nothing else.  Infestations can push out understory plants and stop tree reproduction.  One look at those berries tells you that birds spread this thing around.

Bush honeysuckle keep their leaves a lot longer in the fall than our native shrubs, so at least finding this plant is easy.

These were just a few of Illinois' Invasive Species.  From time to time we may do similar posts, highlighting different species.  As always, be sure to check out http://www.illinoisinvasives.org/ for more information about invasive species in Illinois and what is going on to address them.

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