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Invasive Species

Native species are species of plants and animals that are indigenous to a particular area or region – those that normally live and thrive there.  Native species are an important part of the natural habitat in the Christina River Watershed for keeping the fish, wildlife, and people that live here healthy and thriving. An important part of promoting and protecting native species is document what kind of species there are in natural areas.

Bioblitz is a fun walk led by a professional naturalist to identify any or all of the mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, wildflowers, trees, shrubs in a publicly-owned property, often in a section of the Christina River Natural Area.  These natural areas have exceptional natural and ecological values that are recognized by listing on Delaware’s Natural Areas Inventory maintained by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental  Control (DNREC). Bioblitz information is stored permanently as part of a biological baseline. The Conservancy has held a Bioblitz in June almost every year since 2012. Bioblitzes to date include:

  • June 22, 2019 – Biodiversity in New Castle County’s Lewden Green Park
  • 2017 – Parkland at The Woods development
  • 2016 – Cooch’s Bridge Farm
  • 2015 – Country Creek Park
  • June 7, 2014 – Whitewood Village, New Castle County Parkland
  • 2013 – Treking Through the Magnus Woods
  • 2012 – Birding in Lewden Green Park

Invasive plants are detrimental to native species and wildlife and can be a threat to water quality in streamside areas.  The Christina Conservancy has periodically identified areas along the river heavily impacted by invasive plants and engaged volunteers to assist the Conservancy and its partners in removing them.

During these Out With Invasives events, participants focus on cutting or removing non-native, rapidly spreading pest plants like Purple Loosestrife, Asian Bittersweet, Japanese Honeysuckle, and bush honeysuckles and when possible planting native species in the area. Participants are provided with basic supplies like gloves, hand tools, trash bags and water and may be asked to bring others, like hand clippers or trowels for planting; and waterproof boots or “mud” sneakers are a must. The Conservancy held Out With Invasives events almost every fall between 2012 and 2017, with the first three at Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge on the Wilmington Riverfront.

  • 2017 – Hale Byrnes House grounds
  • 2016 – Smalley’s Pond dam area
  • 2015 – Arbour Park riparian area
  • October 25, 2014 – Peterson Marsh
  • 2013 – Peterson Marsh
  • 2012 – Peterson Marsh

For more information on Delaware’s native and invasive species, visit the websites of the Delaware Native Plant Society and Delaware Invasive Species Council.