A series of short documentaries covering invasive species in the Great Lakes was released in October, showing how invaders are changing the ecosystems in national parks and what’s being done to stop them. Videos were created by the National Park Service funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
In Part 3, see how the invasive spotted knapweed spreads and is threatening the habitat of piping plover, an endangered species.
Fantastic film. Like the simple steps all can take to help with prevention and control. Want more people to see things like this so these steps (cleaning boots, bilge, checking exterior of boat, etc) become habit.
Again, this is another informative video, but I’m going to be picky about two parts:
1) At 3:18 of the video, why are they planting grassy vegetation on the open, sandy beach? This seems counter-productive if they are trying to maintain habitat for endangered Piping Plovers. From a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fact sheet: “Piping plovers use wide, flat, open, sandy beaches with very little grass or other vegetation.”
2) At 4:26 of the video, don’t they know better than to allow the young workers to pick Spotted Knapweed with their bare hands? Some people get very severe reactions to the chemicals in Spotted Knapweed. They should be wearing gloves! The warning from The Nature Conservancy-Michigan Chapter’s fact sheet on Spotted Knapweed sounds even more ominous: “Gloves should be worn when hand-pulling due to the plant’s allelopathic compounds that are thought to be carcinogenic in large quantities.”
On a positive note, I did like the fact that they highlighted the use of boot-brushes at trailheads. These are good in two ways: they reduce the unintended transport of seeds…and they are educational in that they get people to think about ways in which they impact the environment.