Plastic men, also known as plastic tree men, are the latest plastic man species to become a real threat to wildlife.
The tree men are the most widespread of the group of “small plastic animals” and have been spreading quickly throughout the United States, according to a study released this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
They’re also known for their tendency to invade wildlife habitats, especially in the Great Lakes region.
The group of tree men is one of several new species that are known to have expanded into the Great Lake region over the past few decades, according the NRC.
The tree men range in size from 1.8 to 3.4 feet (0.8-1.5 meters) in length and up to 2 feet (1.4 meters) wide, and have also been found in some areas of southern Wisconsin and southern New England.
“These animals are so common that it is not surprising that the species has gone from a harmless and native part of the Great Plains to one of the top 10 invasive species in the country,” said David Schuster, director of the NERC Wildlife Conservation Program.
“They’re also one of three species of tree-man found in North America that have been documented in Wisconsin since the early 1900s,” Schuster said.
The other tree-men are the green man, a small mammal similar to a tree but with more sharp claws and larger teeth, and the walnut tree, which are both about the same size and are more commonly found in the North American South.
These new species were introduced into the region by farmers in Wisconsin and northern New England, who began harvesting their trees in the early 2000s.
The farmers have also used them for fertilizer, and they’ve also been seen in wetlands, including in parts of Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the trees are growing wild.
These invasive species have invaded several habitats, including freshwater bodies and streams, wetlands and grassland.
In some cases, tree-mans have grown to over 20 feet (6 meters) tall and have taken up residence in areas that are already full of wildlife.
In other cases, the trees have grown so large that they’ve caused damage to the natural habitat and threatened wildlife, according Schuster.
“Many species of wildlife are able to respond to the disturbance caused by tree-mars,” he said.
“In the case of tree and walnut-man, there are no known responses that are adaptive for the species to live in the habitat.”
Researchers say that tree-mates can cause a wide variety of problems to wildlife, including fragmentation of nesting habitat and predation by bird and insect species.
The trees can also be invasive to native habitats and threaten fish, aquatic life, plants and other wildlife, such as bats and snakes.
“In many instances, tree and tree-mann have been found to be invasive into habitats that were once protected,” Schusters said.