If you’ve been following the news you may have heard of the new “Murder Hornets” in the U.S. These insects are considered invasive and serve as a great illustration of how destructive non-native species can be. Luckily we don’t have murder hornets here in WNC, but we do have plenty of other non-native invasive species. In this issue we’ll learn about what qualifies a species as invasive, as well as some details about Kudzu, one of our most prolific invasive plants.
Many species can qualify as invasive. They can be plants, bugs, mammals, fish etc. They can be an aggressive native species, or a non-native species with no local predators. Whatever form they come in, they can be devastating to an ecosystem. Without any real competition for resources, these plants and animals can quickly use up food, nutrients, water and space. Most of the time they are transported as a result of human activity, which puts the responsibility for managing them on us. National Geographic has covered all of the basics in their Invasive Species 101 video.After watching it you should have a to solid foundation of knowledge about these species and the impact they have on the ecosystem.
Identify the Non-Native Plants in Your Neighborhood
We are no strangers to invasive plants here in Western North Carolina. There’s a good chance that you have some in your neighborhood, parks, or even your backyard. If this is the case, then identification is the first step to managing these aggressive plants. The North Carolina Invasive Plant Council has a thorough list of species you might find throughout the state.
Finding these plants is by no means limited by your age. The Invasive Species Council of British Colombia has put together a fantastic activity guide to engage children in this topic. We really enjoy the wanted poster in activity 6, and think it’s a fun way to learn something new without having to leave the house. Using the species list from the NC Invasive Plant Council, find a plant you’d like to learn more about and create a wanted poster for it, you can use our digital version you see here or our hand drawn one as an example. Once you’ve finished your poster post it on social media and tag us. We’d love to see what you create!
Cove Creek in the Green River Game Lands is a beautiful destination with multiple waterfalls to hike to. While this creek is not technically in the French Broad River watershed, it still showcases the incredible variety of water resources we have here in the mountains.
We are thinking of you all in these uncertain times and hope you are staying healthy and safe! Thanks to your generous support we are able to continue our Education,Water Quality and Land Conservation programs, but we couldn't do it without you!