Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Munch Hour with Vin Vasive

Munch Hour with Vin Vasive
 on Thursday, June 28th

Join this interactive chat on Thursday, June 28th from 1-3 pm EST
Click here on the day for the online chat room.

He’s lean, mean, and could be moving into a neighborhood near you. He’s Vin Vasive, the new spokes-bug for APHIS’ Hungry Pests outreach program. Vin has already done some work both in radio and television, staring in public service announcements reminding Americans about the dangers invasive pests, such as the Mexican Fruit Fly and Asian longhorned beetle, pose to fruits, vegetables, trees, and other agricultural crops. But now Vin is going viral: he will be hitting the Internet to talk about his “Culinary Tour” of America.

The Munch Hour chat room works best with the following browsers. Please download one of these to limit potential conflicts with the chat functionality: Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Update on Invasive Species in Florida From Topical Currents

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Jenny Eckles, Dennis Giardina and Kelly Gestring were recently on Topical Currents, a south Florida NPR affiliate show.

In this show Topical Currents looks at invasive plants, reptiles, fish, insects and other critters in South Florida. These ecosystems remain under siege, at great cost to taxpayers. Fifty-million dollars annually is spent just to eradicate exotic weeds from fields, canals, ponds and roadsides. With no natural predators, Burmese pythons and amphibians thrive and prey on native species. Biologists say prevention is the best answer to the problem.

Learn more about:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stop The Spread of Invasive Species

The Threat

It's up to each of us to help stop hungry pests

Hungry pests are invasive species that threaten to harm our crops and trees. Left unchecked, they can devastate entire agricultural industries, eliminating jobs, threatening our food supplies and costing billions.
There are things that each of us can do to help stop the spread. It's up to each of us to be sure that we're not packing a pest when we move things outdoors, go camping, or travel internationally.
Please do your part and be aware of any regulations and potential risks in your area. And if you see a pest, report it. With your help, we can protect so much that we value.
Click here to learn more.

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month: The goal of May 2012 Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) is to provide resources and opportunities to help stop the spread of invasive species in Illlinois - each and every person can make a difference, including you!
Check out the blog posted by Chris Evans at River to River CWMA. they posted the first edition of  "The Hunt for Invasive Species Slogans" Chris says, "I’ve always been intrigued with creativity that is put to good use. As I’m sure you know, a catchy or funny slogan or saying can really make an advertisement memorable (for example, you can't hear 'Where’s the Beef?' without thinking of Wendy's). From working with invasive species over the last ten years, I've come to the conclusion that there are a lot of creative, funny, and/or odd things out there when it comes to invasive species educational material.
I’m starting a series of posts to highlight some of the more memorable and fun slogans that you can find on publications, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.
If you know of some slogans that haven’t been posted here, please send them to rivertoriver@gmail.com.
These slogans seem to fit into three broad categories: Play-off, Alliteration, and Rhyming. Here in this first post, I am going to concentrate on The Play-off."

39th Annual Natural Areas Conference; Call for Papers

39th Annual Natural Areas Conference: Call for papers

Keeping Natural Areas Relevant and Resilient
Registration opens in June

Concurrent Sessions will likely include:
  • Natural Area Program Relevance and Resiliency
  • Coastal and Marine Issues
  • Broadening the Base: Marketing and Communications
  • Invasive Species Tracks
  • Managing Cultural Resources on Natural Areas
  • Cave and Karst Management
  • Rare Species Conservation
  • Measuring Success of Natural Area Programs
  • Land Conservation
Full conference registration includes participation in the mid-conference (Thursday) field trip of your choice. All attendees of mid-conference field trips will receive a boxed lunch. Below is a tentative list of field trips. It will be finalized before registration opens in June.

Pre-conference Field Trips (subject to change)
  • Caves and karst lands of western Virginia
  • Clinch River canoe float in southwest Virginia
  • Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve and Southern Blue Ridge
  • Coastal Plain sinkhole ponds
  • Chesapeake Bay shorelines
  • Longleaf pine restoration at its northern limit
Conference Field Trips (subject to change)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Way In for Invasive Species

Invasive species already travel to new locations at record speed via cargo ships and air freight, now we find they can also hitch rides on the debris tsunamis deliver across the ocean from the place they occur. Tsunamis can carry large sections of debris that contain living organisms a long way from the place of origin.
Read the article "Invasive species ride tsunami debris to US shore" by Jeff Bernard.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Alert: Emerald ash borer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

"Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials recently confirmed the presence of invasive emerald ash borer beetles in the park. Last week, beetles were discovered near Sugarlands Visitor Center and in the Greebrier area, on the Tennessee side of the park. The insects were recovered during routine inspection of traps and sent to a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist for confirmation." Read this article on the National Park Service website.

What can you do to stop the spread of invasive pests on firewood?
  • Never take firewood with you- always buy it near where you will burn it
  • Tell your friends not to move firewood.
  • Firewood you buy should be from only a few miles away, or at least in the same county
Read more about how you can help at Don't Move Firewood.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Invasive Species in North Carolina

North Carolina is lucky to have Randy and Becky Westbrooks fighting invasive species in their state. Randy has worked for many years at the state and national levels to implement EDRR - Early Detection and Rapid Response programs. Becky is the Chair Natural and Social Sciences at Southeastern Community College and together they have developed an online program to train invasive species field managers. The five core courses in the program cover all aspects of invasive species management – including pre-clearance of commodities at foreign ports of exports, border clearance at ports of entry, early detection and rapid response, and control.

Information on invasive species in North Carolina:
Crested floating heart, Nymphoides cristata
photo by Larry McCord, Santee Cooper, Bugwood.org

Friday, June 1, 2012

Invasive Species and Flooding

Flooding can spread invasive species, both plants and animals over a large area in a very short time. Here are some articles dealing with this topic:
Invasive species can actually increase the risk of a flood. A few examples:
  • An invasive species that has a taproot replaces native plants that have a fibrous root system. Fibrous root systems stabilize the soil and resist erosion; taproots are much less effective at stabilizing the soil. Beach vitex, (Vitex rotundifolia) is one example of this type of invasive plant that is crowding out the native plants like sea oats and beach panic grasses and increasing erosion of beaches where it grows.
  • An invasive species like miconia shades out and greatly decreases the native understory plants allowing runoff from rain and soil erosion to become severe. This increases the risk of flooding.
  • Invasive plants can grow so quickly and produce so much biomass that they fill up waterways, increasing the risk of flooding. 
Native species provide many services to people. Things we often take for granted. Like flood control.
The article, Five Years After Katrina, An Important Lesson Goes Unlearned

The services provided to us by native species and natural features, such as marshes and other wetlands are called ecosystem services. These ecosystem services can be interrupted or even cease altogether when invasive species are allowed to invade and infest natural areas. When we protect our national parks, state parks and other natural areas, we are protecting our own future and the future of our children. It is easy to be Plantwise.
There are some really easy ways to help right in your backyard:
  • Stop planting invasive exotic plants in landscaping
  • Choose native or at least non-invasive exotics for your landscaping
  • Properly manage any invasive plants already in your landscaping until it can be replaced, by removing all berries or fruit before birds and other wildlife can spread it
  • Your state invasive species council has an informative list of invasive species for your state
  • Lists for alternatives to plant can be found at Wildflower.org, your native plant society or your invasive species council