Jumping Worms Project

Jumping worm and castings

Have you seen an earthworm act this way?

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Video by Carly Ziter

BECOME A WORM RANGER!

Join us in this citizen science project focused on documenting non-native Asian earthworms commonly referred to as the Jumping Worm.

All of the terrestrial earthworms in Minnesota are non-native, invasive species from Europe and Asia. We have no evidence that earthworms ever inhabited Minnesota before European settlement.

North American Glacial Extent

Even if they did, the glaciers killed any native North American earthworms in our region. For the last 11,000 years since the glaciers receded, Minnesota ecosystems developed without earthworms.

Jumping worms are the latest invasive worm to arrive in Minnesota. They live in the tops few inches soil and alter soil structure and chemistry through there feeding and burrowing behaviors. Found in garden beds, mulch and compost piles they represent a threat to the health of our managed and wild landscapes.

Worm Rangers investigating their distribution and dispersal mechanisms throughout Minnesota. Jumping worms are spread through composting,horticulture, landscaping and bait. The overall goal of this project is to characterize the status of the jumping worm invasion in Minnesota. You will be trained to look at their distribution and dispersal.

Exploring your yard and gardens is key! Take the self-guided training or contact project staff to learn more about them and how to collect data. If you suspect you have jumping worms take a photo. You can still participate this fall along with the 2021 growing season.
 


Trying to wrangle a jumping worm

Researchers tracking the jumping worm need to know where it is in Minnesota, and where it is not. Please help us collect data by taking observations in your own gardens and communities, especially if you are in the areas of Rochester, the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Saint Cloud.

 

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Training

Do you have Data to Submit?