The effects of invasive species can be quantified in economic damage dealt to the agricultural community, high levels of environmental degredation, reduction or loss of recreational opportunities and impacts to human, plant and animal health. Because invasive species cross jurisdictional boundaries, careful corrdination and communication between state and federal agencies is critical for addressing existing and emerging threats.
Since state agencies manage most of the nation's fish and wildlife resources, they are well-positioned to lead the development of integrated strategies that focus scarce resources where they are most likely to impact the invasive species threat. Experience suggests that prevention, early detection and rapid response have the greatest potential for cost-effective impacts on the ground.
To date, most state agencies have developed and implemented management plans to address the invasive species problem. However, with more than 40% of the species listed under the Endangered Species Act at risk at least in part because of invasive species, the challenges are great.
AFWA Staff Contact:
Priya Nanjappa at 303/ 674-6613