Thursday, July 30, 2009

My First T.V. Interview- Gypsy Moths at Highbanks Metropark Revisited

Well, this video pretty much tells it all. Thanks to our local Metropark District and Peg Hanley, whom happened to see my writeup of the Gypsy Moth infestation at Highbanks Metropark, The Ohio Nature Blog and I were featured last evening on our local T.V. Station. Ben Gelber, a fine meteorologist with Channel 4, does environmental stories- stories that typically don't get airtime on the local news.

Anyways, this all happened very fast, and I was pretty nervous and excited all at the same time. I think the video footage from June really added to the story, since quite a bit of the forest has started to leaf out once again, plus, the defoliation is best appreciated on a sunny day. Yesterday was gray and rainy.

Here's the the footage that I took that was featured on Channel 4:

The bottom line here? What we nature bloggers do is really important- In the past week, two stories have made it to the mainstream central Ohio media. First it was Pinky, then this story about the gypsy moth defoliation at Highbanks Metropark. Thanks Ben for taking an interest in environmental news and bringing it to the mainstream.



  1. Wow, Tom!! That is so cool! It must have been eerie to have been in the midst of so much destruction all cause by munching caterpillars! I hope this is the first in a long line of TV appearances...congratulations!

  2. Tom, that's awesome! It has been quite a week for Ohio nature stories to be in the news, and it's very encouraging. Way to go!

  3. Holy cow your famous! Neat! How are they going to stop the spread? Their pesticide didn't do so well to kill the caterpillars in spring, I guess?
    One more question, as a result, what types of wildlife are benefiting from this explosion in moth population?

  4. Great work Tom! It is a surreal scene isn't it? Our experience at Cuyahoga Valley was that a couple of years of defoliation (1997-1999), plus dry weather stressed some significant areas of oak enough to result in mortality. Some other areas of oak seemed to spring back fine with minimal mortality. We haven't seen a major outbreak again since then, largely due to the spraying of B.T. Caterpillars we find up here now generally seem to be suffering from it still.

    The good news is that in areas with mortality, the forest floor seemed to come alive and diversity of both forbs and shrubs seemed to increase. It was an effective (although perhaps short term) counterbalance to the deer overpopulation in the valley. In a three year period, I saw the browse line disappear in parts of the park that were hard hit by both defoliation and deer browsing.

    I am glad that you were able to get this into the mainstream media.


    Eddie Dengg

  5. Tom: I have heard of the Gypsy Moths but never saw this destruction.

  6. Great job Tom, I didn't realize the damage they could cause !!

  7. You were doing for first time so you got nervous and excitement!!!
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