Why Are Invasive Species Something You Should Care About?

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Show notes:

Do you struggle with invasive species on your property? Or, have you ever wondered, what’s the big deal with invasive species? Why are they so bad? Or maybe you just wondered how our invasive species got here. After all, if they are so awful, then why would anyone bring them here? If so, then you aren’t alone. Invasive species are something that most of us struggle with.

In this episode, I’m joined by my husband, Anthony Trimboli. Many of you may know Anthony from the Backyard Ecology videos he produces every week or from previous podcasts episodes which he has been on. In addition to creating Backyard Ecology content, he also does habitat consulting and works in our native plant nursery.

Anthony and I talked about a wide range of topics related to invasive species beginning with a discussion about what exactly is an invasive species and whether those species are inherently “bad.” We also talked about why it matters if a species is invasive, some of the negative impacts invasive species can have, and whether any of the short-term uses that pollinators and wildlife may gain from invasive species makes up for their negative impacts.

Much of our conversation focused on invasive plants, because we both agreed that invasive plants are probably the type of invasive organism which individual property owners have the greatest ability to do something about. This part of our conversation included topics such as how to know whether a species is invasive and how to control those species on your property, as well as a discussion about whether native plants can be invasive.

We wrapped up our discussion by talking about how invasive species got here. Spoiler alert: No one did the evil “bwahaha” laugh and thought to themselves, “Let me introduce this horribly invasive species so it can wreak havoc and destroy the ecosystem.” The story of invasive species is one of unintended consequences.

If you haven’t checked out the Backyard Ecology YouTube channel, then I encourage you to do so. Anthony adds new content every week. There’s a link to the channel in the show notes, as well as a separate link for the channel’s invasive species playlist.

Until next week, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy the nature in your own yard and community.

Links to Relevant Resources:

General Backyard Ecology Links:

Episode image:

  • Purple loosestrife may have pretty flowers but it is a major invasive species in many wetland ecosystems.
  • Photo credit: USFWS, public domain

Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at www.backyardecology.net.

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