Fostering research, education, and collaboration on biological conservation and natural resource management in Alaska and the Arctic
Invasive species are the second largest cause of extinction in the United States and negatively impact native populations of fish and wildlife. Introductions to Alaskan waters have the potential for great environmental and economic impact. Invasive species are extremely difficult or impossible to remove once they are firmly established, making early detection and rapid response critical. The main goal of our invasive species monitoring is to determine which species might be the most likely to come into our area, and where they are most likely to settle. Surveying those target areas on a regular basis will hopefully result in early detection and better odds of eradication before those invaders are firmly established. Fouling invertebrates have proven to be some of the worst salt water invaders all around the world. One of the most notorious marine fouling creatures is the tunicate. KBNERR partners with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Plate Watch program to survey for targeted species and measure changes in their population. In addition, we survey beaches on low tides, anchor lines in Cook Inlet near the Nikiski terminal, and heavily encrusted boats or infrastructure as they come into the area or before they are moved to new locations. Community monitors also survey multiple beaches throughout the summer looking for European Green Crabs, an aggressive invader and have been working their way up the West Coast. These voracious predators are known to disrupt natural habitats, posing a serious threat to native crab and bivalve populations.
For detailed Invasive Species Program information, past reports, and fields guides please visit our catalog.