Staten Island has discovered itself to have been invaded by a type of beetle for the first time. It is devastating, and could kill hardwood trees, also threatening the local ecosystem at the same time, the parks officials fear.
Asian long-horned beetles are spotted to have infested a silver maple tree. It was found in a Bloomfield section of the island’s private lot, according to Adrian Benepe, the Commissioner of the Department of Parks & Recreation.
Explaining the destruction the invasive beetles can cause, Benepe said,
It could wipe out, if it’s not checked, half of the trees of Staten Island, which would completely change the character of the island.
Including others, the beetles bore into maple, birch, poplar, willow and elm trees. They kill the trees by ultimately feeding on the trunks.
The infestation was discovered last Thursday and it been followed this month, it is found that at least 37 trees on nearby Pralls Island are infested.
It is an uninhabited bird sanctuary closed to all excepting a few researchers, Benepe said. As a measure to control larger infestation, the city and state workers are destroying the sanctuary’s all the trees at risk.