May is Invasive Species Awareness Month. Citizens and scientists will work together across the state to help stop the spread of invasive species in Illinois. In its second year, the Garlic Mustard Challenge encourages volunteers to assist in the removal of the aggressive plant.
Checklist: Invasive Plants
Invasive plants and animals threaten the nation’s environment and economy. In fact, the threat they pose to native plants, animals, and ecosystems is second only to habitat destruction. Nearly half the threatened or endangered species are at risk due to competition with invasive species, and combatting invasive species is costing the United States nearly $125 billion each year.
In natural areas of the Chicago region, invasive plants are choking out other plants and destroying habitats. Some of the worst invasives in Illinois are purple loosestrife, Japanese and bush honeysuckles, garlic mustard, and buckthorns. "Serious invaders of natural areas are compromising the ability to preserve biodiversity," says the Garden’s director of plant science and conservation, Dr. Kayri Havens.
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