Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can a plant be listed as both Native and Invasive?

Recently I recieved an email with a question we are often asked: I would like to plant non-invasive flowers, shrubs, trees that are self-sustaining in East Texas but I am having some difficulty understanding what is safe.  I find some plants listed on your ‘invasive list’, which is also listed on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center listing them as ‘native’.  This is confusing, can you help clear this up?
Our answer: A plant can be native in one part of America and an invasive in another. It is a big place. The LBJ Wildflower site is a wonderful place to get information on native plants. They are a good reliable source of information. We work with and partner with them on many projects. Their Mr. Smarty Plants is a great venue for questions about gardening with natives. But while their focus is on native plants, ours is on non-native invasive and pest plants. So, if any state or region in the U.S. lists a plant as invasive, we will have information on it, even if it is actually native to the U.S. or to some part of the U.S.

Invasive Plant Symposium Set for Nov. 4 at Zoo Atlanta

Exotic pest plants are invading natural areas, parks, public and private lands, and even home landscapes at a phenomenal rate, choking out native plant species and causing significant long-term injury to the ecology and economy of Georgia. To learn more about these alien invaders, plan to attend a symposium sponsored by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council on November 4, 2010 at Zoo Atlanta. Keynote speaker is Dr. Damon Waitt, senior Botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin Texas, a Center having an international reputation in plant conservation and environmental sustainability. Other presenters at the day-long symposium will discuss the effects of invasive plants on real estate values, sustainable landscapes practices, environmental impacts of non-herbicidal plant control, and the risk associated with using invasive plants for bio-fuel production. The symposium is open to anyone interested in non-native invasive species management. Individuals involved in the management of forest resources, private and public lands, as well as Green Industry professionals and arborists are encouraged to attend. Continuing education units and pesticide credits will be available at the end of the program to qualified individuals. For a complete agenda, directions, and to register, see

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Attend Conferences in your Area to learn more about Invasive Species!

Invasive Species Conferences are being offered across the United States. Attend one near you and take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the invasive pests in you region, hear presentations from top people working in the field, hear up to the minute data and statistics, meet other people in your area who share your concerns about this issue and learn what you can to do to help fight this growing problem.
- 2010 Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council Annual Meeting - Invasive Plants: The Impact on Georgia’s Ecology and Economy Website and Online registration.   (Held at Zoo Atlanta, in Atlanta, Georgia November 4, 2010)
- 2010 Minnesota-Wisconsin Invasive Species Conference - Working Together to Control Invasive Species Website and Online registration. (Held at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul Riverfront, St. Paul, Minnesota
November 8-10, 2010)
Contact us to have your annual meeting or conference on invasive pests posted on the Bugwood Blog

Alert! Hydrilla found in the Ohio River and Several Tributaries

Mats of Hydrilla were documented at virtually all boat launches along the Ohio portion of the Ohio River by Notre Dame. Surveys also found hydrilla in several tributaries of the Ohio River. This information comes from a recent survey. Reports and articles will be posted as they become available. I commend the researchers for making this information quickly available to everyone.

It's a Scary Time to Be a Weed aka Invasive Plant

Read about volunteer groups across America battling invasive plants. In Portland, Oregon the "No Ivy League" is battling English Ivy, in Montgomery County, Maryland "Weed Warriors" are on the march and the fearless "Kuzilla" successfully fights kudzu in Spartanburg, South Carolina. To read the entire article by Anne Marie Chaker, click here.

East African Wasp Helps Protects Trees in Hawaii

A black, two millimeter long East African wasp is helping protect wiliwili and coral bean trees in Hawaii from the invasive gall wasp. The gall wasp arrived in Hawaii in 2005 and quickly found the wiliwili and coral bean tree to feed and reproduce. The gall wasps feed inside these trees, causing the trees to become curled and misshaped. Severe infestations can eventually kill the tree. After much research, scientist found the East African wasp (Eurytoma erythrinae) and released it in 2008 as a biocontrol agent. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indiana and Kentucky's Least Wanted

Click here to view the most damaging invasive species in Indiana and Kentucky. The article explains what the species is, where it came from, the problem and how to help.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Catching a Goliath Tigerfish

Click here to watch a video on catching a Goliath tigerfish.

First North American Invasive Pond Mussel Found

State biologists confirmed Chinese pond mussels were found in Hunterdon County, New Jersey after a recent DNA test. This is the first known intrusion of the pond mussel in North America. Zebra and quagga mussels already exist in the U.S., however, scientists were stunned by the this recent invasion. In New Jersey, there are few spots where native species are found, which is one reason why invasive species are a major concern. Click here to read more about the recent Chinese pond mussel invasion.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Boaters Upset By New Fees

Lake Taheo's new regulations make boaters pay between $20 to $120 annually for inspectors to determine if their boats are up to regulations. The inspectors make sure boaters have properly tuned engines for high altitude, have sewage systems that will not discharge waste into the lake and comply with noise regulations. The new regulations are also aimed at preventing the introduction of new aquatic invasive species into the lake. Click here to read more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (GA-EPPC) Annual Meeting and Conference

Invasive Plants: The Impact on Georgia’s Ecology and Economy - A Symposium Sponsored by The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. Professionals from all fields of land management are invited to the 2010 Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (GA-EPPC) Annual Meeting and Conference.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Damon E. Waitt, is Senior Botanist at the University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, an institution nationally recognized as an innovative leader in plant conservation and environmental sustainability, as well as the premier national source of information on native plants and landscapes.
Complete Program and Registration details can be found at

Bat Fungus Named Banned Invasive Species in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Board meeting revolved around two wildlife diseases found in deer and bats: Chronic Wasting Disease and White Nose Syndrome. The board approved a 15 year plan for Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, to list bats as a threatened species and the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome as a banned invasive species in Wisconsin. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Over 40 Whales Die

Over 40 pilot whales that stranded themselves on a remote northern New Zealand beach have died. Officials say that more whales are joining them because pilot whales try to help one another due to their strong social bonds. Click here to see pictures and to read more.

Thousand Cankers Disease in Tennessee- What can we do?

Thousand cankers disease of black walnut trees (the beetle Pityophthorus juglandis and the fungus, Geosmithia morbida) has been found in Knoxville, Tennessee. Although it was only recently discovered, it is believed to have been there for a decade or more. So what can we do now? We can do everything in our power to slow and contain the infestation. The more time we buy for the black walnut trees in the Southeast, the more time researchers will have to find ways to manage it and find cultivars resistant to the fungus. The easiest and most effective way for us to help contain this and other pests which infest trees is to stop moving wood from one place to another. Buy local firewood and local wood products. The Rocky Mountain States have been battling this pest for over 20 years. For more information click here.

Scientists Reveal a Connection Between Pine Beetle Attacks and Wildfire

Over the summer, you may have noticed reddish trees amongst green forests. These are the not cause of seasons changing, but of pine beetle attacks. With rising warmer temperatures, pine beetle attacks have risen significantly within the last decade. The affected tree areas are so large that NASA satellites can detect pine beetle attacks from space. NASA has recently released a video on how scientists use these satellites to help map pine beetle outbreaks and their impact on wildfires. Click here to read more and to watch the video.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bugs for Dinner

To most people, they are just worms, crickets, and grasshoppers. But to Marc Dennis they are ingredients for dinner. Click here to watch the video.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Conference Demands European Union Legislation on Invasives

The 6th NEOBIOTA conference in Copenhagen, Denmark called upon the European Union to protect Europe's native species against invasive plants and animals. The legislation researchers are demanding is similar to New Zealand and Australia's. Research shows that invasive species have increased by 76% over the last 30 years and cost Europe an estimated €12 billion every year. Click here to read more on the EU legislation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Video of Anaconda Attack

Click here to watch a documentary of a reporter tangled with an anaconda in the Amazon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lake Henry Stocked With Fish

Mike Brumby, the University of Georgia's forestry and aguaculture professors and Owen & Williams Fish Farm, Inc. stocked Lake Henry Wednesday morning in Tifton, Georgia. Two types of fish were added to the lake: bluegill and redear sunfish. Largemouth bass will be added later. According to Brumby, this was a long process of planning and researching. 11,260 fish are expected to be added to Lake Henry to help balance the population and for continued growth. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

U.S. Turtles and Crayfish Invades Vietnam

Authorities from Vietnam are hunting down red eared slider turtles and red swap crayfish. These two invaders are from the United States and are among the more than 90 other invasive species detected in the Vietnam area. The red eared slider turtles were imported from the United States by a seafood company and the red swap crayfish are believe to have been smuggled in from the U.S. To read more on these invasive species in Vietnam, click here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wisconsin Invasive Species Field Day at Horicon, WI on Sept 28, 2010

 The Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin and Dow AgroSciences are holding a class/field trip on invasive plant identification and management on September 28th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Horicon Marsh , Wisconsin. A morning session will review the importance of controlling invasive plants as well as presentations on identification of new invasive plants, the NR40 rule, a review of herbicide use and safety, and how to integrate herbicides into restoration plans. Participants must register in advance for this Free workshop. For more information or to register click here.

Invasive Species Workshops in Missouri

Natural Areas Conference 2010 from October 25-29. The 37th Annual Natural Areas Conference will be held this fall at Tan Tar A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri. The National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils and the Midwest Invasive Plant Network are teaming with the Natural Areas Association to provide  opportunities to address invasive species issues at the conference. For More Information and to Register for the Conference click here.

Invasive Snakehead Fish Here to Stay?

The invasive snakehead fish is invading and maybe here to stay. The exotic creature invaded in 2004 and sportsmen now have a chance to hunt these "Frankenfish". The snakehead fish is a cross between an eel, snake and piranha that grows to three feet long, breathes air and has needle like teeth. They are aggressive, fearsome, and gobble their prey whole. The Frankenfish can be found in almost every creek and tributary from Chesapeake Bay to Washington, D.C. Click here to see a video, pictures and to read more on the snakehead fish.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Facing a Collapse: Lake Michigan's Ecosystem

Quagga, an invasive mussel, is effecting Lake Michigan's ecosystem by eating its way through the phytoplankton population. Scientists noticed the collapse of phytoplankton after winter storms. Normally, a phytoplankton doughnut is formed after storms to kick up nutrient rich sediment which provides a massive supply of food for phytoplankton and the entire lake. This doughnut lasts for weeks or even months. However, lately as soon as doughnut is discovered, it starts to disappear. This is the result of quagga eating away the edges of the doughnut when it is formed. This in turn effects the entire food chain and ecosystem of Lake Michigan. Click here to read more.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Asian Carp Leader Announced

A former leader of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (John Goss) and the Indiana Wildlife Federation were named the Asian carp leaders to oversee the response to keeping the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. The $80 million, multi-pronged attack on Asian carp will be a full attack on the species to get rid of the predators for good. Asian carp are aggressive eaters that consume 40 percent of their body weight a day in plankton. The invasive species frequently beats out native fish for food and is threatening the fish population. Click here to read more on the Asian carp response.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pine Beetle Outbreaks Expected to Rise in the Future

According to a study conducted by USDA Forest Service, spruce and mountain pine beetle outbreaks are likely to increase significantly within the coming decades. These outbreaks are expected to happen in western North America's forests. Researchers explain that beetles respond to climate change and with temperatures rising so will the beetle population. To read more on the expected rise of pine beetles, click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Parks Canada is Fighting Off Invasive Species

As part of a park wide program to preserve native plants, Parks Canada is trying to kill Japanese knotweed in 20 areas. The park ecologist explains they will cut the plat to the ground level and cover the area with a black, heavy tarp. This will kill the plant and help control the spread. Invasive species are important to eradicate because they affect the biodiversity and ecological integrity of the area. Click here to read more on the Parks Canada eradication.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bug Nursery: Raising Environmental Defenders

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are planning to raise insects as biological controls. These insects and other biological controls are used to manage the spread of invasive exotic plant species such as melaleuca, Old World climbing fern and Brazilian pepper. The insects raised here have already been through an exhaustive testing process to be sure they only prey on the invasive plant they are intended to control. To read more click here.

Ants Protect Trees from Elephants

A new University of Florida study found that angered ants will crawl up African elephants trunks to keep them from devouring tree cover throughout the East African savannas. This plays an important role in regulating carbon sequestration in the ecosystem. Click here to read more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New EDDMapS Florida Training Video!

See the new EDDMapS Florida Training Video.  Invasive Species Mapping Made Easy! EDDMapS is focused on providing a picture of the distribution of invasive species across the U.S. It is designed as a tool to develop more complete local, state and regional level distribution data of invasive species. To see the video click here.

2nd Annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week

The 2nd Annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week will be held February 28  through March 4, 2011. Activities are already being planned to take place in Washington, DC throughout the week.  For updates and more information click here.

Flash Floods Dragging Away Invasive Frogs

Scientists have found in the small mountain oases of Mexico's Baja California that invasive bullfrogs are dying off because they are not adapted to with stand powerful, infrequent tropical storms. The native frogs, however, are adapted to sustain this type of weather and are not hurt. Click here to read more and to see a picture of the invasive bullfrog in Mexico.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut Webinar

Professor and Extension Specialist, Ned Tisserat, from Colorado State University is presenting a webinar entitled Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut: What Resource Professionals Need to Know. This webinar is intended to familiarize foresters with the new and threatening disease of black walnut called thousand cankers. Tisserat will present distribution and biology of thousand cankers and discuss the symptoms and signs foresters need to know to identify the disease. For more information on the webinar, click here.

Invasive Plant Symposium in Connecticut

An Invasive Plant Symposium entitled, Challenges and Successes:Working Cooperatively to Manage Invasive Plants is being presented by the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT on Thursday, October 14, 2010 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The Keynote Address will be "The power of choice: new frontiers in invasive plant management and conservation," given by Dr. Bernd Blossey, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University. All interested people are invited to attend. For more information and to register click here.

Native Gardening in the Southeast

Okay, so you have eradicated all the invasives from your garden and are wondering where to go from there. The Georgia Native Plant Society 2010 Symposium is a great place to get started. A day long program with speakers such as Gil Nelson and Tom Patrick and topics ranging from "Climate Change" to "Propagating Native Plants". To see the agenda and register click here.

Annual GA-EPPC Meeting at Zoo Atlanta

Invasive Plants: The Impact on Georgia’s Ecology and Economy. A Symposium Sponsored by:The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council held November 4, 2010 at Zoo Atlanta.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Damon E. Waitt, Senior Botanist at the University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, an institution nationally recognized as an innovative leader in plant conservation and environmental sustainability, as well as the premier national source of information on native plants and landscapes. For more information or to register click here.

Found in Manitoba Lake: Freshwater Jellyfish

Freshwater jellyfish were found in Canada in Manitoba Lake. This is believed to be the first time this invasive species has appeared in this area. Experts warn this invader will threaten the ecosystem. These freshwater jellyfish are poisonous, however, are only the size of a Tonnie and can not break through human skin. Click here to read more on the newest invasion.