Invasive Jumping Worms (Amynthas sp.) are reported throughout the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, and Western New York. Unlike long-naturalized earth worms, these overactive decomposers devastate soil ecosystems, soil structure, nutrient cycling, and the physical stability of plant communities around them. They can even be lurking underfoot in the Adirondacks! Help the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and Cornell Cooperative Extension fill data gaps and increase awareness to prevent the spread of these threats to forest health. Cocoons can survive harsh North Country winters, spread along trails on footwear, or into your garden through soil and compost. Anglers may even inadvertently introduce them to new areas as bait for fishing!
Hearing from special guest speaker, Joyce Tomaselli, Cornell Cooperative Extension - Dutchess County, participants will learn about Jumping Worm biology, anatomy, behavior, and ecosystem impacts. Key to this workshop is learning how to identify Invasive Jumping Worms in relation to harmless earthworm counterparts found in our region. Understand how to survey for them at a trailhead or in your garden, connect to iMapInvasive mobile mapping software to report their presence (or absence!), and gain skills necessary to prevent their spread in the Adirondacks.