Thursday, April 24, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
A series of eye-grabbing, slightly eerie videos starring Vin Vasive, the anti-hero of USDA’s Hungry Pests program. Vin is made up entirely of invasive pests, and he reveals—in a maniacal way—how he gets around in the things people move and pack. Then USDA provides the voice of reason and explains how to defeat Vin and “Leave Hungry Pests Behind.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
They’re here, and they’re hungry! Invasive species, that is. These Hungry Pests feast on and infest America’s agriculture, damage our parks and forests, wreck our gardens, and throw our ecosystem off balance. Since they don’t always have natural predators, their numbers can become overwhelming if left unchecked. In fact, the economic impact of invasive species has been estimated to exceed $1 billion annually in the United States due to lost revenue and clean up costs.
What can you do to help leave Hungry Pests behind? Prevent their introduction in the first place. Here are some easy steps:
· Buy local, burn local. Since pests and larvae can hide and ride long distances in firewood, buy firewood where you burn it.
· Plant carefully. Buy garden plants from a reputable source and avoid using invasive plant species at all costs.
· Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into your state or another state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand.
· Cooperate with any agricultural quarantine restrictions and allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property for pest or disease surveys.
· Keep it clean. Wash outdoor gear and tires between fishing, hunting or camping trips. Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items when moving from one home to another.
· Learn to identify. If you see signs of an invasive pest or disease, write down or take a picture of what you see and then report it at www.HungryPests.com.
· Speak up. Declare all agricultural items to customs officials when returning from international travel. Call USDA to find out what’s allowed: (301) 851-2046 for plants, (301) 851-3300 for animals. Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/travel/ to learn more.
Talk to friends and neighbors about hungry pests. And for more information, visit www.HungryPests.com.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
How did it get here? And how can we prevent the spread of damaging, invasive species like this unwanted, oversized beetle? These are great questions to consider as USDA kicks off Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Throughout April, we’re raising public awareness about the threat of invasive species and informing people how to prevent their spread—so we’ll face fewer surprises like the CRB.
We haven’t determined exactly how this beetle snuck into Hawaii, but we have some good ideas. It probably hitchhiked on containers, or with plants and plant material moving in cargo or passenger baggage. From there, it could have spread on its own, or it could have kept on hitchhiking, in plants, plant material and debris, mulch, soil, or hidden on pallets. People can unknowingly spread invasive pests across states, countries, continents, and oceans.
That’s why USDA created its Hungry Pests outreach program, to empower the public with the knowledge of how to Leave Hungry Pests Behind. Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month is the perfect time to visit HungryPests.com, which has a wealth of visually compelling information on invasive species. Use the site’s interactive maps to learn which pests are in your state and which ones threaten it. Meet some destructive invaders, such as the giant African snail, Asian longhorned beetle, and citrus greening disease. Most importantly, learn the Seven Ways to Leave Hungry Pests Behind so you don’t accidentally spread destructive pests like the CRB.
The stakes are extremely high. Each year, invasive pests cost our economy billions of dollars by damaging crops, killing trees, requiring costly response efforts, and closing foreign markets to U.S. products from infested areas. USDA and its partners work very hard to keep invasive pests out of the country and combat those that sneak in, but we can’t do it alone—we need your help. So this month, be on the lookout for videos, articles and social media buzz on invasive species and how to stop their spread. Start by visiting HungryPests.com, and join the conversation on the Hungry Pests Facebook Page.
In the meantime, in Hawaii, USDA and state officials are hanging traps to determine the size of the CRB-infested area, removing mulch piles that CRBs use as breeding sites, and informing the public how to spot and report the CRB. If only someone had left that Hungry Pest behind.- See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/04/03/help-usda-stop-invaders-that-could-devastate-u-s-crops-and-forests/#sthash.e5EgatgX.dpuf
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
See it, Map it! Ontario Now Has an Invasive Species App!
Concerned about Asian carp, giant hogweed, or zebra mussels? You can report these species and more online or with your mobile device using EDDMapS Ontario.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) and the University of Georgia Centre for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health are announcing their new EDDMapS Ontario online and mobile App for Android and Apple devices.
EDDMapS Ontario is a fast and easy way to map invasive species without any GIS experience. Users simply take a picture with their mobile device and report from where ever they are. It’s that simple!
“Preventing invasive species from arriving and becoming established in Ontario is critical in our fight against this growing threat,” says the Honourable David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources. “Ontario is proud to be working in partnership with OFAH on the development of the EDDMapS Ontario App. The App will serve as a key prevention tool helping Ontario to detect and track the spread of invasive species and, along with Ontario’s proposed Invasive Species Act, will make Ontario a national leader in invasive species prevention and management.”
The new EDDMapS Ontario App builds on the EDDMapS Ontario web online system that contains more than 17,000 invasive species records from Ontario. Using your mobile device, you can make a report, search data and distribution maps, get email alerts and learn about more than 150 invasive species. The App helps Early Detection and Rapid Response efforts, maximizing the effectiveness and accessibility of invasive species observations with a network of expert verifiers.
“The EDDMapS App is an excellent innovation that takes cutting-edge technology and makes it accessible to Ontarians who want to play a role in preventing the arrival and spread of invasive species,” says Dilhari Fernando, Invasive Species Centre Executive Director. “Invasive species, if they arrive and take hold, can irreversibly alter our landscapes and waterways. EDDMapS will enable citizens to contribute to protecting Ontario’s forests, natural lands, lakes and rivers from the serious economic, environmental and social costs of invaders.”
“Preventing the introduction of invasive species into Ontario woods and waters is everyone’s responsibility,” says OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. “EDDMapS Ontario is another tool in our efforts to prevent invasive species introductions. We certainly hope that you’ll join us in this fight to protect this province’s fish and wildlife by signing up online and downloading this App to start tracking invasive species in your area.”
You can start tracking invasive species today by signing up at www.eddmaps.org/Ontario or visiting the Google Play store and Apple iTunes App store. The OFAH and OMNR will be hosting a series of workshops and webinars to promote EDDMapS Ontario. Contact the OFAH/OMNR Invading Species Awareness Program at 1-800-563-7711 or email email@example.com to learn more about the new mapping system.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 720 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.
Monitoring & Information Management
Specialist/Aquatic Invasive Species
(705) 748-6324 ext. 234
Invading Species Awareness Program Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext. 247