Last week Canadian officials reported that hemlock woolly adelgid has been found in southern Nova Scotia, representing a threat to forest communities as well as urban canopies. Like other pests, HWA doesn’t really respond to border control or immigration policies. This isn’t the first report from Canada, and park staff, foresters, and biologists fear that it won’t be the last. In 2013 HWA was sighted in Toronto and other parts of Ontario, but those infestations were controlled upon discovery. This latest report from Nova Scotia, however, is concerning because it shows that HWA is on the move, pushing farther north than it has been in previous years. You can read about this infestation and management efforts in Canada’s eastern forests here.
There are a few key parts of this story that we can learn from to aid conservation efforts that are underway in New York State. First is the importance of early detection. You can help us by reporting local infestations so that we can respond to HWA threats at home. Secondly, it is important to note that the Nova Scotia infestations are being attributed to inadvertent HWA movement by animals and humans, so being aware of moving potentially infested plant material such as hemlock nursery stock can be very important to halting the spread of HWA. Lastly, you can learn more about management strategies and volunteer efforts here in New York to see what you can do to make an impact. Help us keep the legacy alive!