Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Terrestrial Invasive Species in New York State

Official inspecting wood crates for hitchhiking invasive insects
Shipping crates can contain invasive insects.
Photo: Ethan Angell
NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets

Terrestrial invasive species are land-living organisms that negatively impact our communities, fields and forests. They can decrease our enjoyment of nature, increase the cost of living and even put our health at risk.

Methods of Introduction

An unfortunate byproduct of world travel and trade is the introduction of unwanted invasive species. Shipping pallets and crates, luggage, the ballast water of boats and even people can unintentionally transport invasive plants, insects and diseases to new areas. Without knowing that they would become problematic, some species have been introduced intentionally for use in landscaping, agriculture and other purposes.

Impacts of Terrestrial Invasive Species

Invasive species impact all aspects of life, from recreation to livelihood. Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant that can take over crop fields, limiting crop production and feed for livestock. Hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive insect that defoliates and kills hemlock trees, a key species in maintaining important habitat along waterways. Whether damaging the economy or the environment, invasive species can destroy the places we love and require costly solutions.

Examples of Terrestrial Invasive Species

Learn more about terrestrial invasive species of concern to New York State:

How You Can Help

There are a lot of ways in which you can make a difference.

To learn more about what you can do to help, visit the Prevent the Spread of Terrestrial Invasive Species page.

More about Terrestrial Invasive Species in New York State:

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-9405.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Div of Lands and Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4250
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions