Invasive Species Guidebook for Department of Defense Installations in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Identification, Control, and Restoration
WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL SILVER SPRING MD
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Executive Order EO 13112 defines invasive species as non-native plant, animal, or microbial species that cause, or are likely to cause, economic or ecological harm or harm to human health. Such species have been introduced outside of their natural geographic range by intentional or unintentional human actions VISC 2005, and have since become naturalized, establishing viable reproducing populations. The problem of invasive species also referred to as non-native, non-indigenous, exotic, alien, noxious, weed, and pest species continues to increase in magnitude as new invasive organisms are introduced around the globe, currently established invasive species are dispersed across the landscape invading approximately 700,000 hectares of wildlife habitat per year in the U.S. -- and further research manifests the negative impacts to native ecosystems that arise from their presence. The existence of 35 to 46 percent of species protected by the Endangered Species Act ESA is threatened by invasive species encroachment. Beyond degradation to ecological communities, invasive species can also threaten human health and cause significant economic losses related to decreased productivity in croplands and interference in commerce. Pimental et al. 2004 estimated that the negative effects and cost of management for invasive species totals more than 120 billionyear in the U.S., a number that will surely increase as new invasive species are introduced and the geographic ranges of existing species expand.