Iowa’s Least Wanted Aliens
This podcast was produced by Polk County Conservation and funded by Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education program or REAP-CEP.
Wanted: “Bush honeysuckle, buckthorn, garlic mustard, and zebra mussels” dead or alive, well preferably dead.
These outlaws are some of the least wanted “aliens” or invasive species in Iowa. An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to a particular area. (It ain’t from around these here parts).
Exactly, they spread aggressively and out compete native species for resources. In the end, only invasive species may remain. (Native species may get ran out of town!)
For example, Exotic bush honeysuckles can rapidly invade and overtake a site, forming a dense shrub layer that crowds and shades out native plants. Zebra mussels anchor themselves by the thousands to native mussels making it impossible for the native mussel to function. As many as 10,000 zebra mussels can attach to a single native mussel.
Invasive species are a global problem. Everyone plays a part. Clean your outdoor recreation gear, do not release an unwanted pet or fish into the wild, and plant native plants.
Polk County Conservation parks and many other areas around the state are being overrun with invasive species. Conservation staff and volunteers are currently battling honeysuckle and other unwanted plants in our parks. If you would like to get involved in this effort, (And join our posse-yeah!) contact Polk County Conservation.
This podcast was funded by REAP-CEP which is a program the State of Iowa invests in to enhance and protect the state's natural and cultural resources. REAP provides money for projects through state agency budgets or in the form of grants. For more information about REAP, visit iowareap.com.