Invasive Species

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

August is National Tree Check Month. The USDA is working with state agencies to ask residents for help looking for invasive pests.

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that’s spreading in the Northwest. That weed is toxic to horses and can have a gruesome effect on their hooves.

Sueann Ramella / Northwest Public Radio

It was a little too hot to weed in the garden this week which may have you frustrated because you know how fast they can grow. Believe it or not, some serve a purpose besides breaking your back. Have you ever noticed that weeds take over bare spots? This is Mother Nature’s way of saving the valuable topsoil from eroding or blowing away. Weeds with deep taproots break up hard soil so other plants can reach water. But let’s face it, some weeds need to go and you have lots of herbicides to choose from. 

Matt Levin / Flickr

Native grasses once blanketed the Palouse country of southeastern Washington. Today, much of this hilly terrain has been converted to wheat fields.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Imagine how cool it would be to detect rare or invasive species, study biodiversity or to estimate fish abundance with just a scoop of air or a dip of water. It'd be like science fiction come true. Well, science fiction is indeed becoming reality through a new sampling technology called environmental DNA.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network


  Chefs and adventurous diners converged at Zenith Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley near Salem.

Cassandra Profita / OPB

On September 28, several hundred people are expected to gather at a vineyard near Salem, Oregon, to chew on the problem of invasive species.

This is not just food for thought though. Celebrity chefs will compete in a cook-off using undesirable weeds and animals.

Devan Schwartz / EarthFix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

Vaughn Walton, OSU

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug. Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

A trio of Oregon entomologists has a plum assignment this holiday season. They're heading to Hawaii to help spot pests trying to hitch a ride to paradise on the branches of Oregon-grown Christmas trees.

Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and Jambalaya may not be at the top of traditional Northwest menus, but if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change. The crayfish – also known as a crawfish or crawdad – is native to the Southeastern U.S. and the Gulf Coast.

But over the past decade this firey-clawed, and delicious, crustacean has moved in on Northwestern lakes. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Study: Cheatgrass Severity Affected By Grazing

May 13, 2013

A new study out of Oregon State University suggests that overgrazing could be helping an invasive grass to flourish. That differs from previous studies that have found grazing can better manage that plant -- cheatgrass -- which threatens rangeland habitat. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

U.S. Geological Survey website

Invasive zebra mussels could soon be heading toward the Pacific Northwest. So, researchers are working to protect and prepare the region’s waterways.

Boat Washed Ashore Near Newport Possible Tsunami Debris

Feb 6, 2013
Oregon Office of Emergency Management

A boat that washed ashore on Gleneden Beach near Newport on the Central Oregon Coast appears to be debris from the March 2011 Japan tsunami.

National Park Service

Federal and state biologists are trekking back to a remote beach in Olympic National Park where a large dock washed ashore. The concrete and steel dock appears to have drifted across the Pacific Ocean after last year's tsunami in Japan.

National park officials have abruptly closed Crater Lake to scuba divers. They say they need time to develop rules to keep invasive species out of the Southern Oregon lake. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

Scuba diving in Crater Lake is tricky. The lake sits on the Cascade crest at about 6,000 feet. So divers have to take precautions to handle the elevation. And then there’s the steep, rocky trail to the lake shore. Diver Walt Bolton says it’s worth the hike.

Northwest States Ask Public To 'Squeal' On Feral Pigs

Jul 23, 2012
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Washington, Oregon and Idaho are joining forces to track populations of feral pigs across the Northwest. These “hogs gone wild” can do massive damage to the landscape. And wildlife agents want to know where swine are on the move. They’re even launching a so-called “swine line” for people to call with sightings.

Feds Confirm Mysterious Idaho Bug Is New Pest In U.S.

Jul 18, 2012
Idaho Department of Agriculture

Federal agriculture officials say the Northwest has the first appearance in the country of an invasive insect known as the “elm seed bug.” The pest was discovered in southern Idaho. It doesn’t pose a threat to crops or livestock. But it could prove to be a major nuisance for homeowners.

A giant piece of Japanese tsunami debris on the Oregon coast is now scraped free of what marine biologists worried were invasive species. The floating dock landed on the beach near Newport this week. Park rangers and volunteers worked quickly [today] Thursday to remove seaweed, mussels and barnacles, some of which are found only in Japanese waters. Meanwhile, the massive hulk has attracted hundreds of onlookers. Correspondent Tom Banse spoke with O.J Cortez of Reedsport.

Photo courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

Park rangers and volunteers worked quickly Thursday to defuse an invasive species time bomb that washed up near Newport, Oregon. They scraped off and sterilized a huge boat dock that was set adrift by last year’s terrible tsunami in Japan. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the Oregon Coast.