Nature Awareness #10

Identify one plant or animal species which was introduced to your area and explain how its introduction and continued presence has affected the local ecology and what, if any, steps are being taken to mitigate those effects. (minimum 100 words)

In the summer of 2010 I started noticing big bright purple boxes being hung on my way home from work. I decided to do some searching to figure out what exactly these boxes were for, and discovered they were detection boxes or traps for the Emerald Ash Borer, an Asian beetle discovered in Michigan in 2002. Since 2003 the Bureau of Forestry has used this method to keep an eye on an infestation of the EAD by placing these purple boxes baited with a Manuka oil lure in the center throughout the state, which is apparently the most successful method of detection.

The presence of the Emerald Ash Borer has been extremely dangerous to the Ash tree in North America, being able to kill an infested three within 4 years. This is very disheartening because the Ash tree is a very beautiful and sacred tree. While the EAS beetle does not travel well on its own, transport of hardwood across states has spread it quite vivaciously. Considering that the Ash tree makes up over 3% (or 300 million) of the trees in the state, it would be devastating to lose so much of our Ash population due to the spread of this invasive beetle.

In the summer of 2010, Pennsylvania declared Quarantine on most of the western counties to prevent any hardwood from being transported between counties, or out of state. The Bureau of Forestry continues to keep up the purple box detection method during the summer months, and I will be sure to keep a look out for them this summer as well.

(Word Count: 264)

“Is That a Purple Box Kite Lodged in That Tree?” High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal Home Page. 16 June 2008. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <>.
“Emerald Ash Borer.” PA DCNR – DCNR Home. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <>.

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