Invasive exotic plants represent one of the most significant threats to natural resources in national
parks. Exotic plants are a concern because they are able to reproduce prolifically,
rapidly colonize new areas, displace native species, and alter ecosystem processes across multiple
invasive exotic plants may exist in small populations
for long periods, making detection difficult. However, if discovered in these early stages, control
efforts are likely to cost less and achieve higher success rates than after a species has become
more widespread. Therefore, it is critical
to detect exotic plants during this time-lag between introduction
and subsequent rapid expansion.
Detection of tamarisk (Tamarix species), Capitol Reef National Park.
NCPN invasive plant monitoring will take two forms. The primary form of monitoring is intended to detect new populations and new invasive species. This monitoring will focus on key vectors and pathways for invasions, such as roads, trails, and waterways. The secondary form will look for exotics in places a park is concerned about. NCPN is also developing a “monitoring-lite” protocol that can be implemented by park staff or volunteers that may be able to identify only a few known invasive species.
For more detailed information, see the In-depth Information box below.
Network park units where invasive exotic plants are monitored
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
Capitol Reef NP
Fossil Butte NM
Golden Spike NHS
NP = National Park; NM = National Monument; NRA = National Recreation Area; NHS = National Historic Site