SUNY Cobleskill students and faculty are fighting insects with insects in the widespread and long-term effort to defeat the tree-killing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, or HWA, is an invasive pest that is killing eastern Hemlocks across the eastern United States. At Max V. Shaul State Park on July 7, SUNY Cobleskill students and faculty partnered with park officials to release Sasajiscymnus tsugae, a small, cold-hearty predator beetle that preys on the HWA.
The beetles, which act as a “biological control” of the HWA population, were provided by Tree Savers, Inc, as a gift-in-kind to SUNY Cobleskill. The same company has provided beetles for recent releases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
SUNY Cobleskill Conservation Biology students, along with instructors Carmen Greenwood, Kevin Berner and James Hardin, provided a baseline assessment of the HWA infestation levels in Max V. Shaul State Park and will continue to monitor the population annually.