Michigan Has 2 New Invasive Species
Goodness, gracious. Who knew that every year, the the Michigan Department of Natural Resources adds new invasive species to our watch list? I guess it makes sense, because our ecosystem is constantly changing. Well, the DNR has added two new invasive species to the Michigan watch list, and they took out another. I admit that it’s going to be hard to keep an eye out for these new invasive species, but as good Michiganders, we should do our best.
New Invasive Species:
One of the species is the mountain pine beetle. We don’t even have mountains here, right? Anyway, a press release calls these “the most aggressive, persistent and destructive bark beetle in the western U.S. and Canada.” That doesn’t sound good. They also say that due to more mild winters and hotter, drier summers, this pine beetle has seen an “unprecedented population growth.” Yikes.
“White and red pines are primary species in our forest ecosystems, and jack pine serves as critical habitat for the Kirtand’s warbler,” Susie Iott, invasive species program specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a statement. “If mountain pine beetle were to become widely established in Michigan, it would cause severe losses across multiple industries, including timber products, plant nurseries and tourism.”
The other species is the water-primrose. It spreads in “dense mats within wetlands and shoreline areas, outcompeting native species and making boating and water access difficult, according to a release. “Though not common in trade, it was likely introduced through the landscape or water garden pathway,” Bill Keiper, aquatic biologist with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said in a statement. “Several Ludwigia species are common in trade but are not invasive and look much different than water-primrose.”
On the upside, the DNR has taken the European frog-bit off the Michigan invasive species list. They do note that it’s still illegal to grow European frog-bit in the state, however.