Just in time for the summer season, Illinois is putting the spotlight on invasive species that threaten ecosystems and communities. Throughout the month, residents can learn about these invaders and find opportunities to help curb their spread. 

Illinois is home to hundreds of invasive plants and animals, and the list continues to grow. These species alter food webs, hinder recreation, and lower property values. Researchers, state agencies, and non-profits have made great strides in spreading awareness and reducing the spread, but there is still a lot individuals can do.

Boaters, anglers, and even swimmers can limit the spread of aquatic invasive species by following simple Be A Hero—Transport Zero messages. 

Water gardeners and aquarium hobbyists can also help by choosing native or non-invasive species. And we can all do our part by making sure we never dump plants, fish, animals, or the water they’ve been in into any waterbody.

Throughout May, we’ll be highlighting potentially invasive aquatic species and those that threaten to spread further in our Species Spotlight. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information and species fun facts.  

Invasive Species Awareness Month is a statewide effort led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources