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Invasive Species 






Invasive species pose one of the greatest threats to Illinois’ natural areas, native communities, and natural resources.  Species that are rare or declining are often at greatest risk of invasive species because of their few numbers or inability to adapt to changes in habitat.  In Illinois, 62% of the wildlife species determined to be in greatest need of conservation are threatened, at least in part, by invasive species.  Coordination of management efforts across a landscape is vital to effectively addressing these invasive species, detecting new infestations, and reducing redundancy.  In Illinois, the Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) sets goals and actions for conservation across the state, including an Invasive Species Campaign (ISC).  The ISC identifies those actions determined to be most needed for statewide management of all groups of invasive species.
Measuring progress
 
Goals and Actions

1. A comprehensive, integrated approach is essential to effectively addressing invasive species.
            a. development of a strategy for preventing, controlling and managing biological invasions
            b. inter-agency moratorium on the recommendation, use and distribution of exotic species that are
                known to be detrimental
            c. inter-agency promotion of native species for environmental applications and wildlife habitat
            d. inter-agency coordination for effective and rapid detection, quarantine, eradication and control
                of invasive species
            e. cooperation with transportation, agricultural, and pet trade industries to curb introductions of
                invasive species.
            f.  cooperate with horticulture industry to reduce reliance on nonnative species and increase use
                of native species for landscaping
            g. establish a trust fund with revenues from sales of intentionally introduced  species for funding
                detection, eradication and control of plants and animals that escape cultivation or captivity
            h. improved control of the transport and release of live wildlife, including bait fish, cervids
               and feral hogs
            i.  implement ballast water standards developed by U.S. Coast Guard 
            j.  draft and implement Rapid Response plans the Great Lakes basin and Mississippi River basin,
                covering all of Illinois
2. Fill information gaps and develop conservation actions to address stresses. 
            a. evaluation of established invasive species with the greatest damage potential and possibilities
                for control to focus control efforts.
            b. further research for screening species prior to introduction
            c. development of more effective and cost-effective control techniques (e.g., biological control
                measures)
            d. production of native cultivars to replace invasive species applications
            e. model biological invasions that might be facilitated or caused by climate change
            f.  create “Invasive Species Center” at the Illinois Natural History Survey to  coordinate research,
                knowledge sharing
3. Prioritize high-quality natural areas, large habitat patches, and other key locations for invasive species
    control.
        a. improved surveillance for early detection and resources for rapid response to new invasions
        b. maintain on-going control (chemical, mechanical and biological) of invasive species, until
            species are evaluated and prioritized for control and/or more effective techniques become available
4. Marketing, education, technical assistance, incentives and cost-sharing to prevent invasions, control
    invasive species (mechanical, chemical and biological), and restore natural disturbance regimes (e.g., fire)
    on private lands.


Priority Places for Work


Mermet Lake State Conservation Area

Mermet Lake State Conservation Area and the Cache River natural areas provide significant habitat for a number of species dependent on backwater sloughs, rivers and swamps.  Mermet Lake State Conservation Area has been selected as an IDNR-managed site to highlight the Invasive Species Campaign section of the IWAP because of ongoing efforts to eradicate an infestation of curlyleaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus).  Curlyleaf pondweed grows and spreads rapidly in early spring of each year forming large, dense weed beds that nearly cover the entire lake by late spring.  This exotic plant then senesces into dormancy during summer, releasing significant nutrients into the water column which encourages phytoplankton blooms and subsequent oxygen-related fish kills.   The monoculture of curlyleaf pondweed contributes to low plant diversity and threatens the stability and long-term viability of the Mermet Lake ecosystem.  Since 2009, IDNR has been implementing an eradication program for curly pondweed at Mermet Lake.  These efforts have resulted in a drastic reduction in curlypondweed and resurgence of the fish population into the ecosystem.  The efforts need to continue to assure eradication and complete restoration

.

Pyramid State Park

Pyramid State Park provides a significant habitat for a number of species dependent on grassland habitat.  Pyramid State Park has been selected as an IDNR-managed site to highlight the Invasive Species Campaign Section of the IWAP because non-native and invasive species are significant threats to both the grassland and wetland communities at Pyramid SRA.  If left unchecked, these non-native and invasive species will cause the loss of both biodiversity and the degradation of associated wildlife habitat that is present and projected to be developed on the complex.  Grassland habitat is becoming increasingly rare in Illinois, a problem compounded by loss of haylands, the reduction of pastureland statewide and high commodity prices that pressure landowners to convert CRP acreage back into row crop production.  IDNR is both actively establishing new and maintaining existing grassland habitat at Pyramid State Park.  Invasive species control is a major component of management at Pyramid State Park and vital to IDNR’s efforts to provide critical grassland habitat.
 

Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park provides habitat for a number of species dependent on forestlands.  In addition, Giant City State Park represents a well visited, highly visible property.   Giant City State Park has been selected as an IDNR-managed site to highlight the Invasive Species Campaign Section of the IWAP because Invasive Species are a primary threat to the ecological and recreational management of Giant City State Park.    Giant City has several listed species that are directly threatened by invasive species.  Giant City has an invasive species management plan developed for the property and the Friends of Giant City, Southern Illinois Strike Team, and the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area are actively involved in invasive species management and education at the park.  The park has an established Demonstration Trail at the Visitor’s Center to demonstrate the impacts of invasive species and the benefits that can be gained from management.
 

Partners

Invasive Species Programs

Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Exotic Species
Illinois Aquatic Nuisance Species Program
Illinois Department of Agriculture, Emerald Ash Borer
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Feral Swine
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Asian Carp
Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program Website / Blog
 

Illinois Invasive Species Management and Control
 

Illinois Nature Preserves Commission Vegetation Management Guidelines
Illinois Natural History Survey, Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife Program

Invasive Species Laws, Regulations, Ordinances and Policies in Illinois

 

Illinois Noxious Weed Law
Illinois Exotic Weed Act
Illinois Department of Agriculture, Emerald Ash Borer
Chicago Botanic Garden Invasive Plant Policy

 

Invasive Species Distribution Information

 

Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS)
Great Lakes Early Detection Network
United States Geological Survey – Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
Central Hardwoods Invasive Plant Network – Joint Aquatic Invasive Species Survey
 
Invasive Species Research in Illinois

 

http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/programs/invasive.html
http://www.iisgcp.org/research/research_ais.html
http://www.chicagobotanic.org/research/staff/larkin.php
http://www.rtrcwma.org/invasiveresearch.html
http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/programs/soybean_research.html

Illinois Invasive Species Education and Outreach
 

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month Website / Blog
Illinois Natural History Survey, Aquatic Nuisance Species
Illinois Natural History Survey, Emerald Ash Borer Kit
Morton Arboretum, Emerald Ash Borer
Illinois Indiana Sea Grant, Aquatic Nuisance Species
Illinois Master Naturalist Program, University of Illinois Extension
Chicago Botanic Garden, Invasive Plants
 

Invasive Species and Stewardship Volunteer Opportunities in Illinois
 

New Invaders Watch Program
Illinois Master Naturalist Program, University of Illinois Extension
Plants of Concern Monitoring Program, Chicago Botanic Garden

 

Illinois Cooperative Weed Management Areas
 

River to River CWMA
Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership

 

Regional and National Invasive Species Resources
 

Midwest Invasive Plant Network
Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Center for Invasive Plant Management
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas


Federal Government Invasive Species Programs

USDA Forest Service Invasive Species Program
US Fish and Wildlife Service Invasive Species Program 
National Invasive Species Council
National Invasive Species Information Center
National Invasive Species Awareness Week
PLANTS Database 

Contact

 

Christopher Evans
Illinois Wildlife Action Plan
Invasive Species Campaign Coordinator
11731 State Hwy 37
Benton, IL 62812
Office: 618.435.8138 X 131
Chris.Evans@Illinois.gov