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Posts tagged: Hungry Pests

Meet USDA’s Youngest Ally in the Fight against Invasive Species: Ben Shrader, Invasive Hunter

In the battle to preserve agriculture and the environment, Ben Shrader is Luke Skywalker and invasive species are Darth Vader.

Ben, a young man from central Texas, first became interested in invasive species after reading a newspaper article about plants wreaking havoc on native ecosystems. Also known as “Commander Ben,” he describes it as a “battle in nature, like good versus evil” and decided that he wanted to help the “good guys” win.

In his first of many spars with invasive species, Ben conducted a science fair project on giant reed (Arundo donax), an invasive plant that is damaging riparian ecosystems in his home state of Texas. But Ben didn’t stop there. Combining his love for filmmaking with his passion for science, Ben created a blog entitled “Commander Ben-The Invasive Hunter,” where he records his exploits and posts videos and other content to teach kids about the fight against invasive species. Read more »

What Can Bird Watchers Do to Fight Invasive Species?

Invasive species can spread easily by hitching a ride on birdwatchers’ gear, and are unintentionally transported to new locations.

Invasive species can spread easily by hitching a ride on birdwatchers’ gear, and are unintentionally transported to new locations.

For a bird watcher like me, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of spotting a rare or elusive bird—or watching any of our feathered friends in their natural habitats.  Whether you are a die-hard enthusiast or just take pleasure in seeing birds outside your window, you have a deep appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife. Read more »