Monday, December 9, 2013

Virginia acts to reduce population of wild pigs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/virginia-acts-to-reduce-population-of-wild-pigs-the-most-invasive-animal-in-us/2013/11/24/aa4077ca-52b9-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html

Study Shows Stiltgrass Invasion May Facilitate Invasion by Garlic Mustard

Photo by S. Luke Flory
New results provide experimental evidence that an initial plant invasion associated with suppression of resident species and increased resource availability can facilitate a secondary invasion. Such positive interactions among species with similar habitat requirements, but offset phenologies, may exacerbate invasions and their impacts on native ecosystems.

A study conducted by S. Luke Flory and Jonathan Bauer used a long-term field experiment to test for indirect facilitation by Microstegium vimineum (stiltgrass) on a secondary invasion of Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard). These species represent two of the most widespread and problematic invasive plant species in eastern North America. They found that Alliaria produced seven times more biomass and nearly five times more fruit in plots that had previously been invaded by Microstegium­. In addition, Microstegium-invaded plots had substantially less resident biomass than controls, and very little Microstegium early in the growing season when Alliaria is most productive, presumably due to the direct effects of Microstegium in prior years. 
Photo by S. Luke Flory
The study experimentally demonstrates that Microstegium can facilitate Alliaria across a range of disturbance regimes. Greater growth and reproduction of Alliaria in Microstegium-invaded plots may be indirectly facilitated by Microstegium’s suppression of shared resident competitors and associated increases in resource availability, although other mechanisms are possible. Understanding how direct and indirect interactions among species, particularly non-native invasive species, might structure communities is a primary need in ecology.
Photo by S. Luke Flory
For a copy of the full article email S. Luke Flory.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tawny Crazy Ant Found in Southwest Georgia

A UGA Today article by Sharon Dowdy reports that the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, has been reported in Dougherty County by the County Extension Agent, James Morgan. They have already been found in Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, but this is the first report of an occurrence in Georgia.
Tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva
photo by Eli Sarnat, Bugwood.org
They have also been called crazy raspberry ant. They are referred to as crazy, because they travel in an irregular pattern. Tawny crazy ants have been known to displace all other ant species, including fire ants, in areas they infest. They cause damage by killing small livestock and shorting out electrical systems. In addition they become a nuisance for homeowners, limiting use of  outdoor areas by both people and their pets.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Found in DeKalb and Fulton Counties

EAB Adult: Photo by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)
Found in DeKalb and Fulton Counties

EAB Adult: Photo by Marianne Prue, Ohio Department of
Natural Resources - Division of Forestry, Bugwood.org
The invasive forest insect emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, (Order Coleoptera: Family: Buprestidae) has been found in DeKalb and Fulton counties. The attached announcement from The Georgia Forestry Commission provides an overview of the situation in Georgia. The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia, is a member of the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force and has been involved in the development of the announcement and will be providing educational information and educational programming as needed and appropriate.

EAB is a serious tree pest that has caused havoc and has killed multiple millions of ash trees across a wide swath of the upper U.S. mid-West and Canada. EAB kills trees in both rural and urban forests. EAB is a Federally Regulated Pest and thus, there are several actions related to transport of wood products and materials containing wood that are regulated by Federal and State-laws that may be of more significance to Georgia than the potential loss of ash trees.

News Release from Georgia Forestry Commission:

EAB larvae
Photo by James W. Smith,
USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
Adult's exit hole from tree
Photo by David Cappaert,
Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

 Additional Information on EAB:
How You Can Help Slow the Spread of EAB and Other Tree Pests:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Video - Cultivating Awareness: Ornamental Plants Invading Natural Areas

Midwest Invasive Plant Network  and Great Lakes Early Detection Network published a video "Cultivating Awareness: Ornamental Plants Invading Natural Areas" on Jul 15, 2013. Well done and very informative.

"Invasive plants are species that are non-native and cause or are likely to cause harm to the economy, the environment, or human health. Some popular ornamental plants are becoming invasive in natural areas. This video demonstrates the impacts of these species on natural areas in the Midwest and provides information on how to make good choices for landscaping." by Midwest Invasive Plant Network.

Although this video targets the invasive species problems in the Midwest, the issues are the same or very similar in other regions. A lot of information is packed into just under 14 minutes.

The smartphone app 'Landscape Alternatives' is now available for iPhone and iPad with the Android version available very soon.

In addition to the 'Landscape Alternatives' smartphone app, a smartphone has been created for collecting and reporting data on invasive species in the Midwest. Smartphone apps have been created to make it easy to collect and report data on invasive species for many regions across North America. The apps here send the data to EDDMapS, Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System. EDDMapS provides a picture of the distribution of invasive species across the U.S. and Canada. EDDMapS cooperates with and aggregates data from other invasive species mapping projects such as GLEDN (Great Lakes Early Detection Network) and Texasinvasives.org.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NAISN Launches New Informational Website



NAISN Launches New Informational Website – www.naisn.org 

The North American Invasive Species Network (NAISN) has launched a new informational website (www.naisn.org), which provides a wide variety of invasive species management and research resources, links to a multitude of potential partner organizations, and access to streamlined data-sharing platforms for users throughout the USA, Canada, and Mexico. 

NAISN website development and design was undertaken by three of the eight NAISN member hubs: the Center for Invasive Species Management, Montana State University; the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia; and the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida

NAISN is an American 501(c)3 non-profit, science-based organization that was formed in 2010 by university and government scientists and invasive species specialists from across North America. Mexico and Canada participate as NAISN members through a Memorandum of Understanding. 

Because invasive species cross governmental jurisdictional boundaries, NAISN aims to unify and connect existing regional invasive species management and prevention efforts into a single network to improve communication, collaboration, and overall coordination in North America. Its overall goal is to enhance multi-jurisdictional responses to biological invasions across the continent. NAISN membership is targeted toward regional university centers and institutes, government institutions, non-profit organizations, research labs, and/or other groups and individuals with invasive species interests and qualifications that are valuable to the mission of NAISN. 

In addition to serving as a North American focal point for invasive species management, policy, outreach, and research information, the NAISN website also (1) showcases the NAISN organization and the services it offers; (2) provides direct links to the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN) and the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) database systems—platforms for viewing existing and uploading new invasive species data; and (3) provides a compendium of North American invasive species organizations.

We encourage you to visit www.naisn.org, share your work and data, and consider joining NAISN as a member. Feel free to email suggestions or feedback to naisn.webmaster@gmail.com.

Cogongrass Invades the South

It grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on earth. Now, according to U.S. Forest Service emeritus scientist Jim Miller, cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is one of the most threatening invasive species in the South.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Worldwide Cooperation Fighting Invasive Species

Center Co-director, Dr. Keith Douce recently completed a trip to France and Switzerland where he met with and discussed ongoing programs and collaboration opportunities between The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health and:
  • The leadership of The European and Mediterranean Plant Pest Organization (EPPO);
  • Dr. Alain Roques and other members of The Forest Entomology Section of the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Station de Zoologie Forestière, Orléans, France;
  • Dr. Marc Kenis, Head of Forestry and Ornamental Pest Research, and other CABI project leaders and associates at the CABI Delemont, Switzerland station.
While in Europe Dr. Douce had a chance to review the newly released, Insects and Diseases Damaging Trees and Shrubs of Europe which was edited by Milan Zùbrik (Head of Department of Forest Protection and Game Management, National Forest Centre, Zvolen, Slovak Republic); Andrej Kunca (Head of Forest Protection Service, Forest Research Institute, Banská Štiavnica, Slovak Republic); and György Csòka (Head of Forest Research Institute, Department of Forest Protection, Mátrafüred, Hungary).

Prominent forest protection experts from across Europe joined together to create this book: a comprehensive atlas to the world of insects and diseases damaging trees and shrubs in Europe.

The book is easy to use and the pests are arranged by the tree species on which they occur.

Information about each pests include: scientific name; common English name; life cycle; description of the life stages; significance (importance in Central Europe); and known distribution.

The book is richly illustrated by over 4,300 unique colour photographs (many of which were taken by the editors themselves), showing more than 1,100 species of insects and diseases causing damage to tree species and shrubs in Europe. Many of these and other images have been shared with Bugwood Images by the photographers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The green menace strikes again! Human health effects of Emerald Ash Borer

Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

PBS NewsHour just published a piece on How Removing Trees Can Kill You as related to the loss of ash in Detroit, Michigan as a result of Emerald Ash Borer. 

Geoffrey Donovan noted "Increased rates of death from cardiovascular and lower respiratory mortality in the counties with emerald ash borer. And interestingly, what we found was the effect got bigger the longer you had an infestation, which makes sense because it takes two to five years for a tree to die typically."

I've always touted the fact that trees in urban environments make it a better place to live. It takes something like this to make you appreciate just how important they can be!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Maps for the National Distribution and Trends of Pesticide Use from 1992-2009

Ever wonder what fungicides, insecticide or herbicides are used across the county?  Have you been curious to know the levels of use?  The US Geological Survey now has interactive maps to let you explore the trends of pesticide use from 1992 to 2009.

The new interactive national maps and trend graphs (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps) show the distribution of the agricultural use of 459 pesticides for each year during 1992-2009 for the entire conterminous U.S. The maps and supporting national database of county-level use estimates for each pesticide were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in national and regional water-quality assessments.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Florida's Citrus Industry Battle's Invasive Foe

The invasive insect, Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, carries and spreads a bacterial disease. The disease, called citrus greening, is being called the most serious threat the citrus industry has ever faced.
Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri
Image: Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Customs Inspectors - On the Front Lines

Dave Munday's recent article in The Post and Courier states, " The notorious big-headed ant was intercepted before it could gnaw its way through the Lowcountry.
The ants, along with a bunch of other insects, were found April 30 in the port of Charleston, crawling around in a container of aluminum scrap metal on a ship from Costa Rica, according to Steve Switzer, spokesman for the local customs office.
The big-headed ant is listed among 100 of the “World’s Worst” invaders, he said. It not only threatens native plants and other insects, it’s known to chew on irrigation pipes, telephone cables and electrical wires.'"

Read the entire article
bigheaded ant, Pheidole fervens
Image by Eli Sarnat, Bugwood.org

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Nature's Rototillers: Feral Swine

Read the USDA blog, "Feral Swine: Ripping and Rooting Their Way across America", by Gail Keirn, APHIS Public Affairs Specialist.

Feral hogs, Sus scrofa
Image: Vladimir Dinets, University of Miami, Bugwood.org
More information on feral hogs across America:

Cogongrass in Georgia: Spring 2013 Update

Cogongrass in Georgia:
Spring 2013 Update from the Georgia Forestry Commission
Cogongrass flowering(seed production) becoming visible.
First cogongrass spot detected in Turner County.

 
There have been 34 positive cogongrass detections thus far in 2013. Cogongrass has been detected in Turner County for the first time in 2013 bringing a total of 723 known cogongrass spots in Georgia scattered across 53 counties covering 189 acres. The status and treatment for each spot is at varying levels. The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) recognizes a spot as eradicated after three (3) consecutive years of finding no cogongrass resprouts. Presently, 224 spots have been eradicated, 137 spots have been negative for two years, 131 spots have been negative for 1 year while the remaining 228 spots are active. Overall, approximately 70% of all known spots are now negative for cogongrass. The GFC will continue making follow-up site inspections and herbicide treatments beginning in May and continuing through the summer and early fall. Any landowner with questions regarding the status of the cogongrass spot(s) on their property should contact their Regional Forest Health Specialist.
 
Reports of Cogongrass as of 4-19-13
YEAR             Detected spots    Cum. # spots
Up to 2006             59                           59
2007                         37                           96
2008                         131                         227
2009                         110                         337
2010                          135                         472
2011                           130                         602
2012                           87                           689
2013                           34                           723
 
How do you identify cogongrass flowers?
Cogongrass shoots in Georgia are beginning to emerge. Therefore, it is time to begin looking for cogongrass in its flowering stage. The flowers are 2-8 inches in length; light, fluffy dandelion-like seeds that are white in color and cylindrical in shape. Flowering time is dependent on the local climate, but is usually present from late March through early June. The cool spring weather in 2013 delayed the beginning of flowering until mid April in much of South Georgia. The photos below show cogongrass flowering at its peak, dispersal period.
 
 
 
What are the top five cogongrass detecting counties in Georgia?

Decatur 163 sites
Seminole 82 sites
Early 65 sites
Grady 55 sites
Thomas 51 sites


Currently in 2013, cogongrass has been detected in 14 counties across south Georgia including: Baker, Brooks, Calhoun, Camden, Charlton, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas and Turner counties. Landowners are encouraged to inspect their property for cogongrass and report any new potential detections to the local Georgia Forestry Commission county office.
 
Cogongrass identification brochure and pocket ID available from the GFC:
Landowners are encouraged to spend time on their property searching for this invasive grass. Normally, cogongrass grows in circular patches. Identification brochures are available at your local Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) county office. Personnel from your local GFC office can make a positive identification on reported cogongrass finds. The "Cogongrass in Georgia" video showing the key identification features can be viewed at:

http://www.gatrees.org/ForestManagement/Cogongrass.cfm

Contact your local GFC County Office or Regional Forest Health Specialist to obtain copies of these two publications.


 
Besides flowering, what are key identification features?
Rhizomes:
Dense mat, sharp pointed,
covered in flaky scales,
bright white under scales, strongly segmented.
 
Leaves:

2-5’ long blades, ½-1 inch wide, off-centered white mid-rib, margins finely serrated, green yellowish-green in color in summer with a tan color in winter.


Circular growth pattern:
Grass patch will normally grow in a circular pattern.
GaTrees.org - 1-800-GA-TREES

Forest Health Specialists:

North Region: Lynne Womack 
3086 Martha Berry Hwy,
Rome, GA 30165
(o) 706-295-6021 
Cell 912-515-5180 
lwomack@gfc.state.ga.us
 
Southwest Region: Mark McClure
NE 2910 Newton Rd.
Albany, GA 31701
(o) 229-430-5122
cell 229-869-8592
mmcclure@gfc.state.ga.us  
 
Southeast Region: Chris Barnes 
119 Hwy. 49
Milledgeville, GA 31061
(o) 478-445-5440
cell 912-601-7093

cbarnes@gfc.state.ga.us 
 
Program Coordinator: Chip Bates
18899 US Hwy. 301 N.
Statesboro, GA 30461
(o)912-681-0490
cell 912-536-7544

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Running Bamboo Invasive in Connecticut

James Moshier writing for the Bulletin posted this story about bamboo in Connecticut, "Terri Groff, a retired nurse who is field researcher for the Institute of Invasive Bamboo Research, gave a briefing to the Preston Board of Selectmen on Thursday, noting that she has located two species of running bamboo — Yellow Groove Bamboo and/or Running Timber Bamboo — at 11 locations in the town. Groff lives in Preston."
Caryn Rickel,Seymour founder of the Institute of Invasive Bamboo Research has been working hard to get regulations passed for the control of running bamboos. She has written papers and trained volunteers to gather and report data on these invasive plants to EDDMappS. There have been 168 reports of Phyllostachys aureosulcata in Connecticut alone with many other reports of species in the genus, Phyllostachys, being reports in several states.
 
 
Phyllostachys aureosulcata, Yellow groove bamboo
 Image by: Caryn Rickel, Institute of Invasive Bamboo Research, Bugwood.org

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fighting Zebra & Quagga Mussels at Washington State University

An excerpt from the recent article by WSU News: "Researchers at Washington State University are preparing for a Northwest invasion of the zebra mussel - a small, distinctly striped and rather tenacious freshwater mollusk that can quickly encrust underwater surfaces. The mussels have caused significant damage in other parts of the country and pose an enormous risk to the hydroelectric infrastructure, recreational facilities and unique ecological system of the Columbia River Basin."

Click here to read the entire article
 
zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha
Photo by: Amy Benson, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Eight 2013 National Invasive Species Achievement Awards Announced


Eight 2013 National Invasive Species Achievement Awards Announced


Individuals and Organizations honored for their accomplishments controlling and preventing invasive species


03/22/2013


Contact: Lori Williams (NISC) (202) 354-1881
Jessica Kershaw (Interior) (202) 208-6416

WASHINGTON, DC — The major national groups that coordinate the battle against invasive species today announced the 2013 National Invasive Species Achievement Awards. The awards recognize the dedication and collaborative efforts of local, state and federal officials; private citizens; and volunteers in preventing and controlling invasive species.
The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, the National Invasive Species Council and the Federal Interagency Committee for Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds presented the awards to: The Lake George Association in New York; the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Austin, Texas; Rick Johnson, Thurston County, Wash.; Dr. Richard Reardon of the U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Richard Everett of the U.S. Coast Guard; and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program; The Malheur Wildlife Associates, Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon; and Ben Schrader in Texas.
These eight individuals and organizations were recognized for their accomplishments in the categories of leadership, volunteerism, outreach and education, and lifetime achievement, as follows:

  • For Outstanding Achievement in Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach and Education
    The Lake George Association in New York is recognized for its Lake Steward program, which combines prevention measures to stop the spread of invasive species with public outreach and education, while collecting invaluable invasive species data.
  • For Outstanding Achievement in Terrestrial Invasive Species Outreach and Education
    The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin is recognized for leading invasive species efforts at the national, state and local levels through its innovative approach combining advocacy, education and public outreach with research and citizen science.
  • For Lifetime Invasive Species Achievement – Aquatic
    Rick Johnson, Coordinator of the Thurston County Noxious Weed Agency in Washington State, is recognized for his 34-year record of commitment to invasive plant management, and has served on multiple weed management committees, boards and associations. Rick led a program for the management of Brazilian Elodea in the Chehalis River system, an initiative which spanned multiple agencies over the course of ten years.
  • For Invasive Species Achievement – Terrestrial Lifetime
    Dr. Richard (Dick) Reardon of the U.S. Forest Service, a leader of the Maryland and Appalachian Integrated Pest Management programs, is recognized for his career devoted to the management of forest pests and invasive plants. His work with mating disruption techniques was vital to the success of the gypsy moth Slow-the-Spread program. management.
  • For Outstanding Aquatic Invasive Species Leadership
    Dr. Richard Everett of the United States Coast Guard is recognized for leading Coast Guard initiatives to prevent the arrival and spread of aquatic nuisance species and being instrumental in developing measures for the U.S. government and the international maritime community to prevent the spread of invasive species through ballast water.
  • For Outstanding Terrestrial Invasive Species Leadership
    The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program is recognized for leading the collaborative efforts of more than 30 organizations to control invasive species infestations through education programs, volunteer action, identifying policy improvements and coordinating regional response teams to address new invasive species infestations.
  • For Outstanding Aquatic Invasive Species Volunteer
    The Malheur Wildlife Associates, Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is recognized as a strong proponent of the Aquatic Health Program at Malheur refuge, where they have led efforts to combat the common carp, an invasive species.
  • For Outstanding Terrestrial Invasive Species Volunteer
    Ben Shrader, founder of the Invasive Hunter Academy in Texas, “Commander Ben,” is recognized for leading efforts to engage students in invasive species issues through his Invasive Hunter Academy, using interactive methods to teach about invasive species and their effects on native ecosystems.
“We applaud the winners of the invasive species achievement awards for demonstrating visionary leadership, innovation, and creativity in your efforts to protect our vital natural resources from the harmful impacts of invasive species,” said Lori Faeth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the Department of the Interior.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dr. Robert Eugene Eplee, Sr., Remembered

WHITEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA -- Dr. Robert (Bob) Eugene Eplee Sr., 79, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Bob is best known and remembered for his research on the biology and control of Witchweed [(Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze], a parasitic weed that is native to Africa and Asia, that was first discovered in southeastern North Carolina, in July, 1956. Thanks in large part to his 30 year research program to develop methods and equipment for the USDA-Carolinas Witchweed Eradication Program, the infestation has been reduced from 432,000 acres in the North and South Carolina Coastal Plain (1970) to 1,542 acres (end of 2012).

The principles and practices he developed in the Witchweed Program also contributed greatly to the development of new approaches for invasive species prevention in the U.S. and elsewhere. Some examples include:
  • Weed Science Society of America Liaison for Passage of the Federal Noxious Weeds Act of 1974
  • Science and Technical Support for Federal-State Weed Eradication Programs (e.g., Goatsrue in Utah, Common Crupina in Idaho, Hydrilla in California and Florida, and Japanese Dodder in South Carolina – 1981-2000)
  • Original member - U.S. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) (1990)
  • Development of Interagency Approaches for Early Detection and Rapid Response to New and Emerging Invasive Plants through State Invasive Species Councils and Committees (e.g., Wyoming Weed Team – 1998) and Invasive Plant Task Forces (North Carolina Giant Salvinia Task Force - 2002) 
Read the tribute to Dr. Eplee

Disease Deadly to Bats Confirmed in Georgia

DISEASE DEADLY TO BATS CONFIRMED IN GEORGIA

ATLANTA (March 12, 2013) – The disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. has been confirmed for the first time in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that bats with white-nose syndrome were found recently at two caves in Dade County.
A National Park Service biologist and volunteers discovered about 15 tri-colored bats with visible white-nose symptoms in a Lookout Mountain Cave at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in late February. On March 5, a group led by a Georgia DNR biologist also found tri-colored bats with visible symptoms in Sittons Cave at Cloudland Canyon State Park.
A bat from each northwest Georgia site was sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens. Histopathology confirmed both bats had white-nose syndrome.
The name describes a white fungus,
Geomyces destructans, often found on the muzzles, ears and wings of infected bats. White-nose, or WNS, spreads mainly through bat-to-bat contact. There is no evidence it infects humans or other animals. But spores may be carried cave-to-cave by people on clothing or gear.
tri-colored bat infected with deadly white-nose syndrome
Image by Pete Pattavina, USFWS, Bugwood.org
 
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Basic Wildland Firefighter Training

Basic Wildland Firefighter Training
S130/190
Date: August 12-16, 2013 
Classroom Training: Waccasassa Forestry Center, Gainesville, Florida
Field Training: Ordway - Swisher Biological Station, Melrose, Florida
 
Tuition: $100 - Student registration
               $125 - General registration
 
This course prepares the individual to participate in wildland fire management/fire suppression activities as a Firefighter Type II qualified fire crew. 
What to bring:
Classroom training:
  • I-100 completion certificate
  • Lunch (lunch is only provided on Thursday, August 15 during the live fire exercise)
Field training:
  • 6 inch or higher leather boots
  • Leather gloves
  • PPE (optional)
For more information contact:
Natural Areas Training Academy
(850) 875-7153
nata@ifas.ufl.edu
http://wec.ufl.edu/nata 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

Pete Pattavina, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a GA-EPPC (Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council) board member, started cave surveys this week with GA DNR and the Georgia Museum of Natural History.

Nikki Castleberry from the Georgia Museum of Natural History also took part in the survey. She swabbed a tricolored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) for evidence of white-nose syndrome, caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, most likely of European origin.  




Read more about White-Nose Syndrome in bats

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tree Health and Human Health Linked

From an article by the USDA Forest service: "Evidence is increasing from multiple scientific fields that exposure to the natural environment can improve human health. In a new study by the U.S. Forest Service, the presence of trees was associated with human health.
For Geoffrey Donovan, a research forester at the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his colleagues, the loss of 100 million trees in the eastern and midwestern United States was an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of a major change in the natural environment on human health."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NISAW: March 3-8, 2013



March 3-8, 2013
 National Invasive Species Awareness Week is just around the corner. If you can not make it to Washington to attend the events planned there, then plan an event or project to recognize NISAW in your town or neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bargeron appointed to National Invasive Species Advisory Committee


Washington, D.C., - January 7, 2013.  Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, announced the appointment of Chuck Bargeron, Associate Director at The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee for the National Invasive Species Council (NISC).  The NISC members are the Secretaries and Administrators of 13 Federal departments and agencies who coordinate invasive species programs. The Council is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, and the Interior

The Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC), comprised of 30 members appointed for 3-year terms, provides scientific and other input to the NISC regarding non-native plants and animals that annually cause $35 billion in economic and other hardship in the United States. The National Invasive Species Council was established by Presidential Executive Order 13112 in 1999 to ensure that Federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated, effective and efficient. 

Bargeron has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and has been with The University of Georgia for 14 years where he develops web applications, smartphone apps, databases and outreach publications.  These websites have received over 1 billion hits.  Bargeron was the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Advocate of the Year in 2008 and received the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council Award in 2009. He is the current President of the National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils and Treasurer of the North American Invasive Species Network.  In 2012, as part the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, he received the U.S. Department of Interior – Partners in Conservation Award.  Bargeron has been an invited speaker at over 80 regional and national conferences and co-authored over 20 publications on invasive species issues.


The Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health, located in Tifton, GA is a collaboration between the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  Its mission is to serve a lead role in development, consolidation and dissemination of information and programs focused on invasive species, forest health, natural resource and agricultural management.

See more about the National Invasive Species Council is available at: http://www.invasivespecies.gov; and about the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at: http://www.bugwood.org/

Monday, January 14, 2013

Introducing the Ohio State University node of the Bugwood Image Database

Several institutions help to curate the Bugwood Image Database.  The Ohio State University has recently joined Colorado State University, Cornell University, and the University of Georgia in helping to build the Bugwood Image Database.  Their involvement will be unique as there are multiple departments within the university who will be collaborating including Entomology, Plant Pathology, Natural Resources, and Horticulture and Crop Sciences. We look forward to this new partnership and are excited to see what new innovations it will foster.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Field Guide to the Identification of Japanese Stiltgrass

Field Guide to the Identification of Japanese Stiltgrass – with comparisons to other look-a-like species

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) is an aggressive invader of forestlands throughout the eastern United States. Infestations can impact native species diversity, reduce wildlife habitat, and disrupt ecosystem functions. This publication provides descriptions and clear pictures of key characteristics as well as details on how to distinguish several common look-a-like species.

High-resolution version
Low-resolution version

Purchase copies from Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Haywood County, North Carolina Wood Products Under Quarantine


Haywood County wood products under NCDA&CS quarantine
for Thousand cankers disease
 

 
RALEIGH–The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has placed Haywood County wood products under quarantine due to a recent detection of thousand cankers disease in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“This marks the first time the disease has been detected in the state, and by placing restrictions on a variety of plant material and wood products, we hope to keep the disease from spreading into other counties,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Something as simple as moving firewood from an infected area to an uninfected county could increase the risk of spreading this disease.”
Thousand cankers disease is a newly recognized disease primarily affecting black walnut trees. It is caused by the Geosmithia morbida fungus, which is spread by the walnut twig beetle. Thousand cankers disease has produced widespread death of black walnuts in many western states during the past decade. Other species of walnut, such as Arizona walnut, English walnut and California walnut, have also shown varying degrees of susceptibility to this fungus.
The following items fall under the quarantine restrictions: walnut plants and plant parts including firewood, lumber, logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips. Regulated items cannot be moved outside the county. Exceptions to the quarantine restrictions include nuts, nut meats, hulls, processed lumber with square edges that is 100 percent bark free and kiln-dried, and finished wood products without bark, such as furniture, instruments and gun stocks.
NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division and N.C. Forest Service personnel will continue to monitor counties across North Carolina for the presence of this disease.

Anyone with questions about this quarantine should:

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Python Challenge: Everglades Snake Hunt

    From an article in Huffington Post, Miami: The 2013 Python Challenge, which begins Saturday, has attracted participants and media interest from around the United States for a month long event that will feature prizes of $1,000 for catching the longest snakes and $1,500 for catching the most.
    Special note: This organized python hunt is not actually in the National Park but outside of it in other National (Big Cypress) and State lands.  Read the guidance issued by the park.