New Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov
Are you interested in learning more
about invasive species and what Maine is doing to address them? The new
Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov gives citizens easy access to work being
done by state agencies.
portal can help you find resources about destructive flora and fauna that have
invaded our state or could be coming very soon. Invasive species are wreaking
havoc on Maine’s ecosystems and resources. Trails are blocked, propellers are
clogged, swimmers get tangled and diners may see clam prices rising.
the maine.gov/invasives portal, you'll find resources to learn about northern
pike, green crabs, hydrilla, spotted lanternfly, emerald ash borer and Japanese
barberry. Long list you say? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Invasive
species are found across Maine's ecosystems.
is a sampling of the type of invasive species Mainers should be aware of:
crabs are so devastating to our clam flats that you could see the tab for your
favorite fried dinner go sky high. Our ocean resources are so important to the
Maine way of life. We need to stem the tide of invasive organisms attacking our
Norway maples create dense shade and crowd out native trees from their shallow root
systems to completely take over forested areas that previously featured a
mixture of native maples, ashes, oaks and pines. The native trees provide lots
of food for caterpillars and other insects which are critical food sources for
baby birds while the invasive Norway maples do not.
If you love local fruits and wines you do not want the spotted lanternfly to
find its way to Maine. Although a very colorful and beautiful insect, they suck the life out of grape vines, apple and peach trees and they may also spread
diseases to those trees.
Hydrilla, the Godzilla of lake weeds, can grow so dense that boats and swimmers
can become entangled in its tendrils. Only 1% of Maine lakes are now infested
with invasive plants, making prevention critical to keeping it that way.
plants and shrubs can threaten the forest. Shrubs like honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, and
glossy buckthorn can out-compete native tree regeneration in the forest
understory and can harbor higher densities of disease-carrying ticks.
emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees from New
Hampshire to Texas and is a threat to all ash in North America. Ash is an
important component of the forests around our lakes and rivers, and its loss
will alter streams as well as the fish and other animals living in them.
Pike, illegally introduced into the Belgrade Chain of Lakes in the 1970's, are
now present in at least 16 lakes in the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and coastal
river drainages. They are suspected to occur in several additional waters.
These newest populations have been derived from illegal transport or by
out-migration from lakes where they have become established. Pike are voracious
predators on other fishes, and their presence in one lake is suspected of
destroying one of the state's premier landlocked salmon populations.
and awareness are key. Once one of these space invaders is loosed upon our
forests, fields or waters it is almost impossible to control. Well-informed
Mainers are vital in helping to prevent the spread of invasive species in our
lakes, oceans, fields and forests.