Help Fight the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
The Catskills' hemlock trees are a foundation species for the forests' unique ecosystem. The hemlocks are beautiful and strong, providing homes for animals and shade to keep our streams cool enough for trout and other fish native to our area. Without the hemlocks, New York State would be a different place entirely, and these amazing trees are threatened by a voracious invasive insect called the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA).
The adelgid is an insect from Japan that attaches itself to twigs near the base of hemlock needles—where it is hard to see—and feeds on the tree’s sap. As a result, the tree loses strength, and eventually dies. Left unchecked, an adelgid infestation can kill a mighty hemlock tree in as little as four years. The insect threatens eastern hemlocks throughout New York State.
You can become a citizen scientist and use tools you already have--your smartphone and your love of the Catskills--to save the hemlocks.
To get started, download the iMapInvasives app so that you can report on-the-ground and up-to-the-minute information about the adelgid's GPS location and extent of the infestation to New York State officials. With that information, the state's Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Initiative can identify the best and most effective places to release bio controls and eradicate the insect. Every bit of information helps, and your work as a citizen scientist will help preserve the majestic hemlocks, trout streams, and diverse ecosystem that make the Catskills such a special place.
To get started:
Download the app for an Apple device or for an Android device
Click,"Request a Login" or visit the website to request login information
Once you request a login, the iMapInvasives team will send you an email with your login information
Sign in on your app and upload pictures and information when you spot the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid around your property or out on a hike
Spread the word: tell your friends and family that with these simple steps they too can help preserve the beauty of the Catskills