Thursday, April 29, 2010
Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center have turned periwinkle from just an ornamental plant into a tool used to combat a bacterial disease that threatens the world's citrus crop. This disease is one of the most destructive to citrus worldwide. Click here to read more on how periwinkle combats this disease.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
An exotic beetle, called redbay ambrosia beetle, and its fungi have spread a deadly disease to native plants. The disease is called laurel wilt. It started spreading throughout Florida and has now made its way into Highlands County. Native plants like avocado trees, pond spice, sassafras, and redbay have been infested. To read more about the exotic beetle infesting native plants, click here.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
In the Galapagos Island, invasive species are becoming very threatening due to population growth and increased tourism. One of these invaders is the cottony cushion scale, a sap sucking bug native to Australia. These insects are capable of infesting many woody crops and ornamentals by sucking phloem sap from twigs, leaves, branches and trucks. However, with a process called biocontrol, the lady bug can bring the cottony cushion scale under control in just a short time. Click here to read more about this process being performed by the lady bug.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Raspberry crazy ants were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002 and since then have made their way through at least 14 Texas counties. These invasive pests are tiny enough to squeeze through minute cracks and tend to cluster inside computers. They have caused up to a billion dollars of damage to companies and their population needs to be kept in check. This article gives tips on how to spot the species, how they arrived in the U.S. and how to find new species discovery. Click here to read more and help keep invasives in check.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Lionfish, an invasive species found in the Caribbean and Bahamas, are highly aggressive, poisonous fish protected by large spines and have powerful toxins, that are spreading very rapidly. Research has shown that the first lionfish were accidentally released in Florida when a beachside aquarium ruptured during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Since then, the fish have spread up the coast to North Carolina and into the Caribbean and Bahamas. Studies have also found that introducing one lionfish to a reef leads to a 79 percent reduction in the juvenile fish population in only five weeks. Despite the many efforts at trying to alleviate this invasive problem, conservationists have not been able to find a solution. The only means of slowing them down are to hunt them and eat them. Click here to find out how to make lionfish for dinner.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The 25th Annual Symposium of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council was held at Crystal River, Florida April 5th-8th, 2010. Karan Rawlins from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia and Kristina Serbesoff-King, from The Nature Conservancy led a workshop entitled: "EDDMapS: Invasive Species Mapping Made Easy!". This workshop led participants through using EDDMapS to report and view invasive species distribution. The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health and The Nature Conservancy is working with the Florida Invasive Partnership to train all sixteen Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas in Florida to use EDDMapS for Early Detection and Rapid Response. Karan also presented a poster on the Invasive Plant outreach program in Georgia.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
UN Environment Program's executive warns that too many governments have failed to grasp the scale of the threat of invasive species and issues a call to halt their invasion. This article explains taking action against invasive species invasion, knowing their true cost and fighting back. Click here to read more about halting invasive species invasion.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Pulling Together Initiative seeks proposals that will help control invasive plant species, mostly through the work of public/private partnerships such as Cooperative Weed Management Areas.
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Thailand has developed a high quality, insect resistant, rice seed that helps farmers minimize insects and weeds and also shortens the harvest period. The new cross bred seed takes 95 to 100 days to cultivate. And farmers who have tried this new process have received good results. Click here to read more about the new rice seed.
Friday, April 16, 2010
In Ethiopia, Africa, scientists found fossilized specimens dating back 95 million years ago. These specimen could help change scientist's understanding of the origin of some species. Many insects were found in the amber rock (fossilized tree resin). Some of them are: spores, ants, spiders, ferns and fungi. Click here to read more about the discovery.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has created the world's most awesome squirt gun. The GHO Series Hydroblaster is a trailer mounted pressure washer that shoots 140 degree water at 3,000 pounds per square inch out of a 225 gallon tank. The sole purpose of the pressure washer is to blow away aquatic weeds and critters from boats and trailers so they can't "set up shop" in Oregon's waters. Click here to read more about the invasive species pressure washer.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A slimy brown algae called rock snot is one of the most aggressive invasive species threatening the United States today. One cell carried in on the sole of a fisherman's boot can quickly fill a trout fishing stream with a bank to bank mass. This mass is the consistency of wet toilet paper and smothers food sources that aquatic insects and fish depend on. Click here to read more about rock snot and its threats to the U.S.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Swiss needle cast, a fungal disease in found in Douglas-fir forests, has continued to intensify off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. This disease has affected hundreds of thousands of acres in Oregon and Washington and is costing tens of millions of dollars a year in lost growth. Swiss needle cast affects older as well as young stands and causes discoloration, loss of needles and growth reduction. In some cases, the disease causes forest growth to almost grind to a halt. Click here to read more about swiss needle cast affecting Douglas-fir forests.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Australia may soon be facing a new invasive species threat from one of the meanest looking of unwelcome guests. The culprit, called the snakehead fish, is able to breath air, allowing it to travel on land to find prey and migrate. Click here to read more about the "Fishzilla".
Friday, April 9, 2010
Northwest Indiana conservation groups are starting 18 month projects to help native plants and animals gain back territory. The Shirley Heinze Land Trust and Save the Dunes Conservation Fund both received grants from the Sustain Our Great Lakes program, coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. To read more about the grants and programs click here.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Visitors to Wyoming state park lakes can expect minor delays due to an ongoing battle to prevent quagga and zebra mussels, two types of aquatic invasive species. Wyoming State Legislature has allocated $1.3 million to implement new programs to aid in this prevention. Click the link to read more.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health was recently awarded a $328,714 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to provide high definition videos and presentation materials on high consequence plant pathogens, arthropods and invasive plants. This story made headlines yesterday on Southeast AgNet. Click here to read more about the grant and Center.