Exotic species: species that have established populations outside of their native range via direct transport by humans.

Exotic species have been implicated in the decline and extinction of many native plants and animals and pose a significant threat to biological diversity.

Invasive exotic species in Vermont are likely to affect bird populations via changes in habitat structure or food availability.

Some species will benefit from insect and pathogen invasions, while others will suffer.

Bird populations are somewhat resilient to exotic invasive plants, because most do not depend upon a single plant species to provide food or habitat. Again, some species will benefit from changes in vegetation structure due to exotic plants, and others will not.

However, a laissez-faire approach to exotics also carries many potential risks.

The scope of the problem can seem daunting.

Public support for invasive-species control programs is critical, as are efforts to convince legislators of the importance of enacting laws that will reduce the number of future ecological invasions.

At smaller spatial scales the choices that individual landowners make – from landscaping to their source for their firewood – may prove critical.