Maine in Yarmouth is has found a great way to fight off the invasive plants that plague the states natural areas.
The idea is to use data collected by the residents. A website has been set up by the state called iMapInvasive, it was launched approximately a year ago. This website allows people to post pictures of the invasive plants they encounter on private or pubic lands.
Invasive plants can grow quickly and aggressively, spreading and displacing other plants. People usually introduce invasive plants either accidentally or on purpose, into a region far from their native habitat. Invasive plants are often referred to as “exotic,” “alien,” introduced” or “non-native” species. In their natural range, these species are limited by environmental, pest or disease conditions, keeping these species in balance within their ecosystem. When introduced into an area where these limitations are absent, some species have the ability to become invasive.
224 people have submitted more than 2,800 observations so far, stated Nancy Olmstead the State invasive plant biologist.
These invasive plants can interfere with the other plants and also animals. The invasive plants that have been spotted in the state are buckthorn, Japanese barberry and Morrow’s honeysuckle.
The map cost the state $2,500 and requires an annual maintenance of $5000.
Other places which are using the mapping tool to track invasive species include Canda and 8 other U.S states.