Monday, January 31, 2011

Night of the living rhododododododendrums

Invasive Species threaten biodiversity worldwide. In Ireland they are battling rhododendrums.  Click here to view this informative and hilarious video on YouTube.

Predicting Invasive Species Spread

Check out the new website on predicting the spread of invasive species, created by Angie Shelton at Indiana University, focusing on her research on Japanese stiltgrass.  Both land managers and researchers may find this information to be of interest. Click here for the website. Angie also gave a talk on the topic at the Stiltgrass Summit, which was hosted by River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area last summer. Click here to see the presentations, including Angie's, given at the summit.

Invasive Species Workday

An Invasive Species Workday will be held on Saturday, March 12 from 10 am until 2 pm at Forest Hill Park in Richmond, VA. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Reedy Creek Coalition are looking for volunteers. The cost is free. For more information on the event, click here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Documenting the Effects of Saltcedar Biocontrol

The Virgin River in the southwestern United States is one of the first systems where scientists can document the effects of biocontrol on riparian system elements from wildlife to hydrology based on conditions before the biocontrol beetle species introduction. This can help increase our understanding of how biocontrol influences native invertebrate and vertebrate populations,habitat structure, plant water use, secondary non-native weed establishment, and modifications to soils, hydrology.To read the full article 'A River System to Watch: Documenting the Effects of Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) Biocontrol in the Virgin River Valley' by Heather L. Bateman, Tom L. Dudley, Dan W. Bean, Steven M. Ostoja, Kevin R. Hultine and Michael J. Kuehn in December 2010 Ecological Restoration 28:4, pp 405-410 click here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2nd Annual Maine Invasive Species Network Meeting

The annual Maine Invasive Species Network meeting is the be held at the Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine, Orono Campus. A tentative agenda can be found at Registration is currently open and may be accessed at

Minnesota-Wisconsin Invasive Species Conference Presentations Available

Conference Presentations for Minnesota-Wisconsin Invasive Species Conference (MNWIISC) November 8-10, 2010 "Working Together to Control Invasive Species" are now available on the MIPN website. Click here to go to website.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Help Needed with Long-Term Feasibility Study

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), along with other federal agencies, Native American tribes, state agencies, local governments and non-governmental organizations, is conducting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study. GLMRIS will explore options and technologies, that could be used to prevent non-native invasive species transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic pathways. Click GLMRIS to find out how you can help.

New Research Reports on Nonindigenous Forest Pests

A new research study entitled Historical Accumulation of Nonindigenous Forest Pests in the Continental United States was recently published in the December 2010 issue of American Institute of Biological Sciences. Click here to read a press release on the new study and to view the article.

Long-Term Effects of Spotted Knapweed Control

A research article byYvette K. Ortega and Dean E. Pearson shows that because rangeland health depends on restoring and maintaining diverse plant communities, broadleaf herbicides such as picloram should be applied selectively to spotted knapweed infestations along with management strategies designed to promote recovery of native plant communities and increase their resistance to recurring non-native plant invasions. Click here to read the full article in Rangeland Ecology and Management, 64(1):67-77. 2011.

Invasive Species Symposium Being Held in New York

The 2011 Invasive Species Symposium: Databases and Beyond, held April 5th & 6th, aims to bring together techniques, goals, and concepts for tracking invasive species in New York and surrounding states and provinces. This symposium will provide a venue for collaboration among land managers, agencies, researchers, educators, community groups, non-profit organizations, and citizen scientists concerned with invasive species. Click here for more information and th register.

Monday, January 24, 2011

SE-EPPC Annual Conference Call for Abstracts

The deadline for abstract submission for the SE-EPPC Annual Conference is Feb 7, 2011. The joint meeting of the 2nd Kentucky Invasive Species Conference and the 13th Annual Southeast EPPC Conference will be on May 3-5, 2011. It will be held at the Hilton Lexington / Downtown in Lexington, Kentucky. The conference will encompass topics related to the research, management, outreach, education, and policy of invasive species in the eastern and central regions of the United States.
Contributions in the following major areas are welcome: 1.Ecology of invasive species and their impact on ecosystem functions and processes
2.Invasive species management
3.Invasive species education and policy

Submission of Abstracts: Deadline for oral and poster presentation abstract is February 7, 2011. Click here to go to the website for abstract submission or more information.

National Parks Conservation Scholarship from Sally Brown Garden Club of America

The Sally Brown GCA National Parks Conservation Scholarship Purpose: to encourage students to pursue careers in conservation by providing hands-on field training experience protecting the treasured resources of America’s National Parks. The scholarship will allow the Student Conservation Association to expand its apprentice crew leader program from urban parks into America’s National Parks. FOR COLLEGE UNDERGRADUATES AGED 19 - 20. For more information click here.

Invasive Plant Management Internship Opportunity for College Students

Working Title Intern - Science Technician 2
Position ID 535BR
Organization OM5205230 Vegetation Management Division
Location West Palm Beach
Job Description
: Internship opportunities are available to current college students only. Students who will be graduating prior to June 1, 2011 are not eligible. This position will begin on May 23, 2011 and end on August 11, 2011.
The intern will assist with designing/implementing invasive plant field evaluations including installing field monitoring plots, collecting and compiling vegetation data, conducting basic statistical analyses. Work on teams including invasive plant mapping and conducting field inspections of contracted vegetation control activities.
Typically has achieved classification as a Senior or higher in a Biology, Botany, Ecology, Natural Resource Conservation, or Environmental Science degree program at a college or university accredited by a recognized national or regional accreditation association. The student must maintain a 3.0 average or higher and maintain an average grade of B or above in all major fields of study.
For more information click here.

Fighting Invasive Species

Invasive species are Mother Nature's ugly side. From dandelions to cogongrass, these species will invade your yard and destroy your favorite plants and native landscape. Invasive species can fool us with their beauty and push out all competition. This article explains to homeowners and gardeners ways to fight invasive species in their own backyard. Click here to read more.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Removing Invasive Plants to Create Better Bird Habitat

Members of Audubon of Martin County, Florida which owns and oversees the 4.5-acre Possom Long Nature Center in Stuart, have been working on a $250,000 project to remove invasive plant species and replace them with native species that provide food for numerous types of birds and other wildlife. Audubon members' desire for the area to be a better bird habitat led to the restoration project, which began by removing harmful invasive plants including Brazilian peppertree, seaside mahoe and the air potato vine. Click here to read the full article by Tyler Treadway in TCPalm.

Restoring Native Ecosystems Webcast

Free, live, Monthly Webcasts. Please join the Stewardship Network during the lunch hour (11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST) on the second Wednesday of each month for a free interactive online discussion and presentation on various topics relating to the care of natural lands and waters! Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Phragmites Symposium in Michigan

The Great Lakes Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment are working together in planning the event, Phragmites Invasions in Michigan: A Symposium to Build Capacity for Management to be held March 28-30, 2011. Click here for details and registration.

Two Headed Calf

In the country of Georgia, a two headed calf was born with four eyes, three years and two mouths. The mother rejected the calf at birth, so the cow's owner is bottle feeding it. The calf eats with both mouths and is struggling to stay alive. Click here to watch a video on this story.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Job Announcement for Invasive Species Specialist

POSITION: Invasive Species Specialist for the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council
START DATE: as early as May 1, 2011
END DATE: 9/30/2012
SALARY AND BENEFITS: $8000 (no benefits)
Description of Position: The Invasive Species Specialist position is a temporary, part-time position with the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (SE-EPPC). Established in 1999, the SE-EPPC is a non-profit 501-C3 umbrella organization whose membership includes eight state chapters in the southeastern U.S. The Board of Directors (BOD) is comprised of five officers, plus a delegate from each state chapter. Liaisons have been established from various federal agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The successful candidate will report to the BOD. Click here for announcement and application information.

Kudzu Helps Treat Alcohol Intoxication

Kudzu has been used for centuries to threat alcohol intoxication and hangovers. This invasive species does not eliminate alcohol consumption or dependence, however, it does reduce it. Researchers are currently studying how kudzu does this, however, the reason is still unknown. One possibility is through isoflavones that are contained within the kudzu. These are biologically active molecules that affect physiology. Another possibility is that there is an undiscovered compound that accounts for the effects. Click here to read more.

Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Join the Fight Against Invasive Species

At the recent board meeting of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, President Carol Hall was asked by the TriCouncil to write a letter to the Florida Invasive Species Partnership in support of their Resolution which was read in the meeting. The motion of support was adopted unanimously. Members are asked to share this resolution with their clubs, and with their local government officials, in hope of having other organizations add their endorsement to those already appearing on the bottom of the resolution. Click here to read the resolution.

Remembering A Beloved Botanist

'Remembering A Beloved Botanist; Les Mehrhof inspired many through his own passionate defense of nature'. Les was instrumental in the passage of Connecticut’s first state-endangered species legislation and helped to shape the first laws controlling invasive plants in the state. Read or listen to the article by Nancy Eve Cohen remembering Les Mehrhof on 'Your Public Media'.

New Dinosaur Discovery

According to researchers, a recent dinosaur discovery could give clues about the early days of dinosaur evolution. The new dinosaur species, called Eodromaeus or "Dawn Runner", lived 230 million years ago, weighed 15 pounds and was the size of an adult sized turkey (4 feet from snout to tail). Click here to watch a video from Discovery News on the new dinosaur species.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No Definite Action on Asian Carp Threat

It has been a year since Asian carp was detected in the Great Lakes and critics say that no definite action has been made. While progress has been made, the pace is unacceptable to many. This invasive species can grow up to 150 pounds and destroy food chains for other fish. The delay may be catastrophic to the ecosystem. Click here to read more.

New Invasive Species Grant Opportunities

New Invasive Species grant and funding opportunities have been posted. They consist of:
  • Special Research Grants Program - Pest Management Alternatives
  • Chesapeake Bay Program Office Fiscal Year 2011 Technical Analysis and Programmatic Evaluation Support of the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership to Target and Accelerate Bay and Watershed Restoration Actions
  • Yaquina Head Native Plant Restoration Project
Click here to read more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fist Size Snail in Your Peanuts?!

Who would have thought that farmers would be on the look out for a giant snail the size of an adult fist, that has a very large appetite and is known to feed on 500 different plants? This is only one of the numerous invasive species that the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program will be looking for during the year 2011. Among the other exotic species are the cottonseed bug (Oxycarenus hyalinipennis), Egyptian broomrape (Orobanche aegyptiaca), Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) and the pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus). Today, the opportunity for invasive species to adapt and spread is great and they have demonstrated the ability to do so. Click here to read more.

31 Exotic Freshwater Species Move to New Home

Researchers have studied evolution in the introduction of invasive freshwater species in Galicia over the past century. The study shows that over the past century, 31 exotic species have become established in this region. Some of the most significant invasive species are the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), the mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), the Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), the water hyacinth (Echhornia crassipes) and aquatic plants. According to the study, data shows that 1995 was a turning point, after the approval of the Schengen Treaty was approved opening the borders of European countries to the free movement of people and goods. Click here to read more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crews Transform Riverbed Habitat

In California, 65 acres of riverbed is being transformed back into its native habitat. The riverbed was covered in invasive species and years of sand mining. The project has attracted a lot of attention due to being the first location dismissed of invasive species in that area. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What is for Supper?

What is for supper tonight? Jellyfish? Bullfrog? Click here to view the top ten invasive species you can eat. Recipes are also included.

DNR versus Invasive Species

The Department of Natural Resources' biggest priority for 2011 is the fight against invasive species. DNR officials are working to stop the spread of zebra mussels, Asian carp and other invaders in the Great Lakes. These species cause billions of dollars in damage and biologists predict an increase in zebra mussels this summer. DNR is pulling out all stops in this war. Click here to read more.

Expert Examines the Lacey Act

The Lacey Act was passed in 1900 to preserve native species from overfishing and excessive hunting. Since then, it has been amended to address non native species that are endangered in their own countries or could be invasive here. Kristina Serbesoff-King, program manager for the Nature Conservancy, is hoping for tighter regulations and better laws on imported species. She explains that when invasive species arrive they may seem to pose no problem but will suddenly explode. By the time the problem is identified, it is too late. Mrs. Serbesoff-King is not looking to ban all non native species, however, a risk assessment should be done to see if they pose a threat to the U.S. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Standards For Controlling Foreign Invaders

The Coast Guard is proposing new standards for controlling foreign invaders that might hitch rides into the United States. The new standards will be published in April 2011. The proposal will also establish new procedures for approving on board equipment to clean ballast water before discharge. Click here to read more on the new standards.

New Invasive Alert– Java Dropwort (Oenanthe javanica)

Java Dropwort (Oenanthe javanica) has been found in Fairfax County , Virginia . The population was found growing along a storm water management pond and in silt deposits in a drainage canal going to the pond. The canal goes directly into Huntley Meadows Park which has a large, sensitive wetland area.
It is an emergent plant that seems to tolerate a range of conditions. The Fairfax County Park Authority is looking for any additional information on this species, specifically how to eradicate it. The population was still green in November, even when it was partially frozen under ice in the drainage canal. The Fairfax County Park Authority is also interested in other areas this species has been found. It has just been added to the EDDMapS drop down menu so please mark the location if you have seen this species in your area and report it in EDDMapS.

Real Green Users Conference Learns About Invasive Species

The annual Real Green Users Conference took place in Florida last week. The 5 day event gave lawn care operators and technicians an opportunity to learn about everything from social media to invasive species. Elliott Schaffer, founder of Environmental Horticultural Services, explained the threat of invasive species. He also discussed the emerald ash borer and the damage it causes. Speakers also spoke on social media and how to measure customer satisfaction. To read more about the event, click here.

Beat Back Bufflegrass Day

The Southern Arizona Bufflegrass Coordination Center and other volunteers are hosting a Beat Back Bufflegrass Day on Saturday, February 5, 2011. Bufflegrass is an invasive species that is threatening the Sonoran Desert. To read more and to find a location near you, click here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Invasive Species in the Cold

Click here to watch a short video on what is happening to invasive species in Florida due to the increasingly, cold temperatures.

APHIS-PPQ Nursery Manual Updated

The Nursery Stock Manual has been updated by APHIS-PPQ. This update is to add new entries from the Federal Noxious Weeds  List of Regulated Material (as per Federal Register 68950), to Chapter 3, List of Regulated Propagative Material. The manual is available online as a pdf, click here.

Asian Carp Gain Access to New Waters

Asian carp have appeared to gain access to new New York waters. Two types of carp, bighead and silver carp, have been found in the Ohio/Allegany River and in smaller branches of water. Studies show these carp could enter other bodies of water which lead into Lake Erie. These concerns will be discussed tomorrow from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Buffalo Conference Center. Click here to read more and to register for the three minute input/comment session.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Destructive Invasive Caught in Rice Bag

At Los Angeles International Airport, customs agents intercepted a bag of rice that contained eight invasive beetles known as khapra beetles. Agents destroyed the bag of rice because if the beetles were to get loose, it would cause an invasive species launch. These beetles reproduce rapidly, hide in cracks and are very small. By hiding in tiny places, khapra beetles can avoid insecticide sprays and improper spraying has led to a resistance in the beetles. In order to wipe out an infestation, expensive and extensive fumigation is required. Click here to read more and to see pictures of the khapra beetle.

Chinese Snail Found in Owasco Lake

A Chinese mystery snail has been found in Owasco Lake in New York. This snail is an invasive species that lives on algae and is threatening to destroy the lake's ecosystem. Native to Asia, the Chinese snail is olive green and lives in a golf ball size shell. The snail was first introduced to the United States as a potential food supply and has now spread to the Great Lakes and both coasts. Click here to read more.

In search of tales in Georgia and Florida

Read a blog account by AstroDimers Sam Smiley and Lisa Lunskaya Gordon about their three day road trip beginning in Panama City Florida January 3, 2011 and ending in Tifton, at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia on January 6, 2011. Click here.

Information on Invasive Phragmites

1. Drs. Dan Ward and Colette Jacono published an article on P. australis with a description and history of the native and non-native strains in the Spring 2009 issue of Wildland Weeds. Issues are posted on the SE-EPPC website. You can also access a pdf copy of the Spring Issue directly.
2. Jil Swearingen and Kristin Saltonstall published 'Phragmites Field Guide: Distinguishing Native and Exotic Forms of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) in the United States in May 19, 2010. Click here for PDF.
3. 'A Guide to the Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites' put together by Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Click here for PDF.

Invasives Put Desert at Risk

Invasive species have made their way into the Arizona desert and scientists say these changes could put the desert at risk. Buffelgrass, in particular, is an invasive that has the most imminent threat to the desert. The flammable grass spreads quickly and competes with native vegetation for survival. With increasing temperatures in the desert this could make the situation worse. Click here to read more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mt. Lebanon Tackles Invasive Species

Over the past several years, invasive species have been intruding on native species at Mt. Lebanon. Members of the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy are working to eliminate this problem. They have formed an Invasive Species Initiative in which volunteers get together once a month to weed out invasives. The group recently received funding for 2011 to eradicate these predators at Mt. Lebanon. Click here to read more on their efforts.


Invasivore is a new term used today which means one that eats invasive plant and animal species. This is one way of getting rid of the rapidly growing, unwanted predators. In Florida, chefs serve invasive lionfish in local restaurants. This invasive species is taking over the Caribbean and harming marine life. Invasive plants are also being hunted and eaten as a way to stop their invasion. Click here to read more.

Zoo's First Baby of 2011

The San Diego Zoo welcomes its first baby of 2011. The baby is a leaf-tailed lizard who gets its name from the horns over its eyes. It is called satanic gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus). Native to Madagascar, the satanic gecko is a camouflage specialist. Some have patterns that mimic tree bark or moss, while others have beards or their tails look like a dead leaf. The average size of this species is 3.5 inches making it the smallest of the gecko species. They also range in color from yellow to purple. Click here to read more about the satanic gecko and to see a picture.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thousands of Birds Fall From the Sky

Over the past several days thousands of birds from all over the United States have been dying with no certain cause. Some blame power lines and others blame fireworks. The mystery remains unknown as investigators are trying to determine the cause of death. Click here to read more.

Texas Parks Director Speaks Out

Texas Parks executive director, Carter Smith, spoke with The Texas Tribune on the $13 million land acquisition along Devils River, threats from invasive species and the budget shortfall. Click here to read more.

Keeping Bollworms Out of Cotton Fields

USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists found an innovative way to keep bollworms out of cotton fields and to reduce insecticide spraying and the threat of resistance to genetically modified crops. Their solution is made up of the use of Bt cotton and releasing sterile versions of bollworms. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Professor Receives Award for Invasive Species Work

Hugh Maclsaac, professor at the University of Windsor's Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research, will receive the Frank H. Rigler award for his work on invasive species in the Great Lakes. This award is given each year to the best aquatic scientists in Canada. Click here to read more.

10 Invasive Species that Changed the World

Click here to view a slide show of ten invasive species that changed the world forever.

Animal Pests Cause Damage

Animal pests are of high priority to the Department of Agriculture and Food because they are common across southern agricultural areas. These pests consists of deer, hogs, birds, rabbits, etc. They cost around $620 million annually in economic losses and another $122 million for expenditure. The Department is also concerned with emerging pest species. Click here to read more.