Invasive species | Eyewitness News

STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Invasive species such as the emerald ash borer have caused immense damage to the agricultural industry throughout Pennsylvania in recent decades.

Uncovering the impacts of invasive species like the borer was the focus of a statewide survey conducted last fall.

The Invasive Species Council was formed in 2004, but they just released the results of their first statewide survey.

“There was great turnout, over a thousand people responded to the survey, and over a hundred different invasive species were identified,” said Fred Strathmeyer Jr., deputy secretary of the ministry. of Pennsylvania Agriculture.

Traffic and parking restrictions during the 10th annual Scranton Half Marathon

New species of plants, insects and animals are often introduced to the northeast. Warmer temperatures sometimes help this process to occur.

“Hundreds of species, especially plant species, are introduced, including insects and other animals. Not all of them are harmful, some of them are here, they just fit into the environment,” explained Dr. Emily Rollinson, associate professor of biology at the University of East Stroudsburg.

Many species in the report are now near-common household names.

“There are several areas of concern regarding the damage that invasive species can cause. Many are economical in terms of things like the spotted lanternfly that can harm agricultural plants or fruit trees,” Rollinson described.

“The emerald ash borer, and especially for you folks in your area, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, just saw the ash disappear,” Strathmeyer said.

The next step for the council could be the PRISM program, which stands for Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management.

“The program will allow us to look at individual areas and ensure that we are able to focus and do things intentionally,” Strathmeyer added.

For the general public, the best thing you can do is be aware of these issues and help out when you can.

“You know how to do our part. It’s about making sure that if we’re aware of something, and even if we’re not trying to educate ourselves,” Strathmeyer said.

If you have questions about invasive species in your area, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website.


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