Resources on Messaging for Invasive Species Managers
NAISMA Messages on Environmental/Social Impacts of Invasive SpeciesThe NAISMA committee on membership, marketing, and communication has contributed to these messages that connect the impacts of invasive species with environmental, economic, social, and human health impacts of land and water issues.
Agriculture, Forestry, and Horticulture
- As global movement increases, so does the potential for invasive species to be unintentionally introduced to the North American landscape through travel and trade. Both natural ecosystems and agricultural operations are susceptible to the harms caused by invasive species.
- People have intentionally introduced some invasive species for reasons including erosion control, forage and specialty market crops, novel livestock species, and ornamental landscaping. It is important to be aware of the invasive potential of introduced species and to enact measures that prevent species’ spread outside of their intended use.
- Invasive species and climate change interact to increase habitat disturbances and magnify the negative impact of both threats to the North American environment. (See Double Trouble, UMass)
- Some invasive species can act as factors in worsening the risks of climate change, such as pests that kill trees that capture and store carbon.
- Many species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Canadian Species At Risk Act are at risk because of competition with and predation by non-native species.
Habitat and Wildlife
- Invasive species have competitive advantages and occupy ecological niches that would otherwise be utilized by native species.
- Invasive species can create barriers to normal ecological functions.
- Noxious weeds reduce game habitat and can reduce forage value.
- Invasive species can be poisonous to native wildlife and livestock.
- Natural resource extraction can disturb and degrade vegetative communities which aids the introduction and spread of invasive species. Likewise, construction required to access and maintain infrastructure for all energy transmission (including renewable energy) can also introduce and spread invasive species.
- Our natural resources provide water for drinking, irrigation, and industry, raw materials for energy and building, medicinal research opportunities, and many other benefits for growing economies.
- Invasive species can fuel wildfires, either by serving as fuel itself (such as cheatgrass) or by pests killing trees, thus adding to the dry fuel load as fire spreads across a landscape.
- Invasive species can spread as a result of wildfire control efforts. Equipment, tools, and firefighting gear can transport invasive species from one wildfire assignment to the next. Aerial water drawn from one watershed and dropped to fight a fire in another watershed can potentially contaminate a water body with invasive species. Post-fire restoration efforts also have potential to introduce or spread invasive species.
- Wildfire is a disturbance mechanism that opens the land for new infestations.