Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, was introduced into North America in the 1800’s. It is an invasive species that out-competes many native wetland plants decreasing much of the natural habitat and resources for wetland animals. In 1996 Roger Williams Zoo, in cooperation with the University of Rhode Island, began a biological control program. Galerucella spp., a leaf-feeding beetle was released into the wetland walk area of the zoo. Over time the Purple loosestrife population declined significantly leading to the proliferation of native wetland plants.

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