Plants and Animals

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Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Rock Creek Park

What are some of the threats facing Rock Creek Park’s plants and animals, and what are park staff and volunteers doing to help meet those challenges? What can you do?

When interactions among plants, animals, and/or microorganisms go awry, natural communities can change or even be destroyed. A variety of issues relating to plants and animals pose challenges to good stewardship of Rock Creek Park's natural communities.

Explore these menu items:

Lesser celandineNon-Native Invasive Plants

Non-native invasive plants can smother natural vegetation and destroy habitat needed by native animals.

Emerald ash borerNon-Native Invasive Insects/Animals

Non-native insect pests can kill particular plant species or whole forests, with few predators to keep them in check.

Dogwood anthracnoseDiseases

Diseases imported from other parts of the world can wreak havoc on native plants and animals with little immunity to them.

White-tailed deerPopulation Dynamics

A population spike of a native species can cause trouble. A good example is the white-tailed deer in Rock Creek Park.

Blackburnian warbler on beechSpecies of Concern

Some species are at risk of disappearing from Rock Creek Park, or already have.

Lesser celandine – National Park Service; Emerald ash borer – Leah Bauer; Dogwood anthracnose – National Park Service; White-tailed deer – Ryan Valdez; Blackburnian warbler – Sam Sheline