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Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Monitoring Survey: What Did we Find?

Published: 
5 years 16 weeks ago

May 27, 2009- Cornell Plantations, in partnership with the Cornell Department of Natural Resources, Finger Lakes Land Trust, Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, Cayuga Trails Club, and numerous volunteers, recently completed a monitoring campaign to detect new hemlock woolly adelgid populations in the Ithaca area. 

Over 120 volunteers attended three seminars where they were trained to identify and report new infestations.  With the support of 28 adjoining private property owners, Plantations’ Natural Areas Program coordinated volunteer surveys in 10 hemlock forest natural areas in proximity to previously known hemlock woolly adelgid occurrences.  In total, volunteers spent nearly 250 hours and surveyed 568 acres. Volunteers also logged their survey locations and findings on the New York Invasive Species Research Institute database to share this valuable information with other conservation agencies and scientists. 

The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) causes nearly 100 percent mortality in the local, native eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis).  This invasive species has decimated hemlock populations across the eastern United States.

The good news resulting from the surveys is that hemlock woolly adelgids are not widely dispersed within local hemlock forests at present. One new light infestation was documented within Plantations’ Edwards Lake Cliffs Natural Area. Early detection and containment is a critical element in any invasive species control effort.  To view summary of findings, click here.

View map of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid detection efforts in the Central Finger Lakes Region (updated May, 2009).