Non-Native Invasive Species

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.





Non-native invasive animals within the Ottawa National Forest include:

  • Rusty crayfish  -  Orconectes rusticus
  • Exotic earthworms  -  Dendrobaena octaedra, Lumbricus rubellus, L. terrestris, Aporrectodea tuberculata, and Aporrectodea rosea
  • Spiny waterflea  -  Bythotrephes cederstroemi
  • Chinese mysterysnail  -  Viviparus malleatus
  • Banded mysterysnail  -  Viviparus georgianus
  • Sea lamprey  -  Petromyzon marinus
  • Eurasian ruffe  -  Gymnocephalus cernuus
  • Zebra mussel  -  Dreissena polymorpha
  • Gypsy moth   -  Lymantria dispar


We are on the alert for emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid, and New Zealand mudsnail.


Known locations of aquatic invasive animals are shown on this map:

Aquatic Invasive Species of the Ottawa National Forest and Vicinity