Jamestown, N.Y. – In New York and Pennsylvania forests, invasive insects are seeking refuge within Eastern Hemlock trees, killing this foundational forest species and leaving a path of destruction wherever they go.
You can learn more about this scourge and what citizen scientists are doing about it when Elyse Henshaw presents “Defending Hemlocks from Deadly Invaders” at Audubon Community Nature Center’s First Friday Lunch Bunch, 11 a.m. on June 1.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is an aphid-like insect that originated in Asia. It feeds on the food storage cells below the needles of an Eastern Hemlock tree and hides itself under white, woolly masses for protection. If unnoticed, an individual tree can succumb to an HWA infestation within as few as four to 10 years,
This deadly bug has been moving closer to our area as it has spread throughout much of the eastern United States, leaving massive stands of hemlocks dead in its wake. With infestations recently found in Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, Allegany State Park, Allegheny National Forest and the SUNY Fredonia woodlot, its presence is becoming an increased threat to any forest within western New York and Pennsylvania.
Early detection of this particular pest is crucial, as the spread of HWA can be managed. Every winter Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI), partnering organizations, and citizen scientists work together to spread the word while slowing the spread of this pesky invader.
For nearly five years, Henshaw has been the Conservation Technician at RTPI, where she supports their growing conservation and education initiatives. Every year she leads trainings and citizen scientist efforts related to monitoring invasive species within our region.
A BYO brown bag lunch and conversation follow the program, with coffee and tea provided.
The fee for attending is $8 or $6 for Nature Center Members. Registrations are accepted online on the Programs page at auduboncnc.org through Thursday, May 31. Walk-ins are welcome.
Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit the Programs page at auduboncnc.org.
Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.