Invasive Species

Michigan DNR information on Mute Swans in Michigan USGS website information on New Zealand mud snail Michigan DNR information on Giant Hogweed in Michigan Michigan DNR information on Feral Swine in Michigan Michigan DNR information on Emerald Ash Borer in Michigan


When most people think of a Non-native Invasive Species (NNIS) they think of plants - garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, giant hogweed.  More recently Asian Carp has been making the news.  Zebra Mussels are another well known aquatic hitchhiker.  Both are wildlife that have invaded and are invasive. 

NNIS have significantly impacted United States ecosystems and cost millions of dollars to prevent.  Whether it is an insect, plant, weed, aquatic or terrestrial - NNIS can have a huge impact on the ecosystem they invade.  

What happens when a NNIS is introduced to an ecosystem?  The result can be loss and destruction of forage and/or habitat for wildlife/fish/plants, loss of available grazing land, diminished land values, lost forest productivity, reduced groundwater levels, soil degradation, increased risk of devastating wildfires, and diminished recreational enjoyment. Entire ecosystems and communities are experiencing the detrimental impact of NNIS.  

Pests such as emerald ash borer, hemlock wooley adelgid and gypsey moth have long reaching consequences for plant and tree species across the country, killing off ash, hemlock and other tree species.  Infestations of non-native invasive insects can cause millions of trees to die.  Non-native invasive wildlife can take over or destroy habitat for native wildlife species.  Impacts to native wildlife species can then impact the forest ecosystem as natural balances are destroyed.   Aquatic invaders can outcompete native and local fish populations or destroy their food source.  

Autumn OliveHow to Prevent Spreading Invasive Species

Stopping the spread of an invasive species depends on if it is plant, terrestrial animal, aquatic or weed. 


  • Clean your boats, waders and any other equipment before leaving an area where you've been fishing/recreating. 
  • Eliminate any water before you transport your boat, canoe, kayak or tube.
  • Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water before you leave - including equipment, pets and even yourself. 
  • Don't put plants or wildlife into the water unless they came from that water. 

For more information on prevention visit Protect Your Waters

Examples of Aquatic NNIS that have been found on the HMNF - zebra mussel, New Zealand mud snail


  • Make sure your belongings and pets are free of mud and plant debris before you leave.
  • Use local firewood for campfires - firewood can be collected from National Forests System lands near where you are camping free of charge.
  • Use certified weed free hay when traveling with livestock.
  • Identify a cleaning station near your destination, visit it before you leave.
  • Use the boot cleaner located at most trail heads when entering and leaving a hiking trail. 

For more information on prevention visit

Examples of Terrestrial/Insect/Plant NNIS that have been found on the HMNF - Emerald Ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, giant hogweed, mute swans

Emerald Ash BorerFor More Information: 

Federal Resources:


For a more complete list of organizations and federal agencies who are working to protect native species visit

Spotted KnapweedInvasive plants: