New York State defines “invasive species” as follows: (a) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration; and (b) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. According to NYS DEC, invasive species are a threat to our biodiversity and are judged second only to habitat loss. Invasives hail from around the world, and the rate of invasion is increasing at an alarming rate with the increase in international trade.
Invasive species have been problematic in the past and are certainly a problem now, since they threaten our ecosystems, including all natural systems, managed forests, our food supply, including not only agriculture, but also harvested wildlife, fish and shellfish. Invasives are a threat to our built environments including landscaping, infrastructure, industry, gardens and pets. Invasives can affect recreational areas and human health.
The NYS Invasive Species Council was charged with developing a recommended four-tier system for invasive species management. The regulatory four-tier system required by statute assigns one of three regulatory categories to all species of non-native plants and animals, from the most restrictive category of “Prohibited Species” to “Regulated Species” to “Unregulated Species”. The number of persisting non-native species in New York is 1,405. The number of persisting non-native species assessed as having a High or Very High invasive nature in New York as of January 2010 is 68. Though not an exact figure, Dutchess County probably has at least 75% of all non-native species though only a few are high in density:
Top Ten invasive species with an assessment of “Very High” Invasive Nature based on DEC 4-Tier Assessment.
Common Reed Grass
Purple Loosestrife (PL)
Japanese Barberry (JB)
Black Swallow-wort (BSW)
There are some additional highly destructive invasive species that are either in Dutchess County or within striking range of Dutchess County that should be mentioned and monitored:
Significant Invasive Species either in, or within close proximity to Dutchess County, NY.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA)
Japanese Stilt Grass (JSG)
Viburnum Leaf Beetle (VLB)
The table below provides a list of other invasive species common to Dutchess County that have increased in population over the past ten years:
Invasive Species Common to Dutchess County that have Increased in Population.
Tree of Heaven
Chinese Water Chestnut
Multi-Colored Asian Lady Beetle
For More Information on Invasive Species
Contact the CCEDC Commerical Horticulture Program.