Monday, February 28, 2011

Say What?!?!

'Invasive Plants Can Create Positive Ecological Change' is the title of an article recently published in Science Daily. The premise is that since birds eat the fruit of invasive plants, these invasives must be a good thing. Well, you can survive on a diet of junk food, but it doesn't mean that junk food is good for you or your long term survival. The birds eat the invasive plant fruit because these non-native invasives have replaced the native plants in the ecosystem and when you are hungry, you eat what is available. Check out some of the comments in response to this article in Ecosystem Gardening. My favorite comment was by Ursula on  Chernobyl as a wildlife mecca.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Free Native Seed Program in Texas

What a great idea. Keep Austin Beautiful has a free native seed program where people send in native seeds they have available and then the seeds are distributed to schools, creek restoration projects, and parks throughout Austin.

This sounds like a project which could be done across the United States. Does anyone else out there have a program like this already in place? Please email me with details and let's see if we can get more programs like this going.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Visiting Sea Turtle Hospital

Click here to get an inside look at Sea Turtle Hospital. This short video explains how sea turtles end up at the hospital and how they are rehabilitated. The link also provide some interesting facts about these disappearing creatures.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Invasive Ant Species Video

Invasive ant species have caused biological and economic damage to ecosystems around the world. Click here to watch a video on invasive ant species.

Monday, February 21, 2011

U.S. Soldiers to Train Afghan Farmers

National Guard soldiers from across Georgia will soon be leaving to Afghanistan where they will be on a year long mission to share Georgia's farming knowledge. These 60 men will be training Afghan farmers how to better irrigate and take care of crops and how to raise cattle. The goal of this mission is to boost Afghan farmers production and export their goods. Click here to read more.

Invasive Species Specialist Position

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.
The mission of the SE‐EPPC is to support the management of invasive exotic plants in natural areas of the Southeast by providing a forum for the exchange of scientific, educational and technical information. The Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council is not a regulatory agency. For more information click here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Biological Science Technician Position

The Northeast Exotic Plant Management Team is hiring a full time seasonal Biological Science Technician, GS-0404-05, not to exceed 1039 hours, to begin in early May. This person in this position will be a member of the EPMT crew as well as the GIS/data manager for the Team. The NE EPMT is stationed at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Bushkill, PA, and travels to parks in PA, NJ, NY, MA and ME.
The job announcement is now on and will close on Feb. 25th, so time is short--APPLY NOW! Click here for more information.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emergency Funding to Fight European Grapevine Moth

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has funded an additional $16.922 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of European grapevine moth in California. This pest of grape feeds on flowers and bunches. The first occurrence of the European grapevine moth was in October 2009 in Napa Valley. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Training Courses for Professionals

Two new training courses have been posted for professionals seeking more knowledge. California Invasive Plant Council is hosting Cal-IPC's Wildland Weed Field Courses and Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is hosting Scence Filmaking Workshop. For more information on these two courses, click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chefs Serve Invasive Lionfish

Chefs have been helping control the spread of invasive lionfish by serving the aquatic species. This venomous fish has destroyed ecosystems in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and East Coast. The lionfish's only real predator is now humans who enjoy eating them. Chefs are experimenting with the invasive species and are hosting lionfish dinners. At the National Aquarium, the first lionfish dinner is scheduled for March 3. A second lionfish dinner will be held on April 20. Click here to read more and to view a lionfish recipe.

Friday, February 11, 2011

You Can Make A Difference in Your Backyard

A Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Plants in Georgia: You Can Make a Difference in Your Backyard is now available online. This is a new publication by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia in Tifton. The heart of the publication is based on the Gardensmart Plantwise guidelines developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Included also are 8 pages of pictures of invasive plants from the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council's List of Invasive plants. All the images in the publication are from the Bugwood Image Database. There are over 137,000 images in this database and all of them are free to use for educational purposes.
Homeowner's Guide and Image database links:
Homeowner's Guide
Bugwood Image Database

Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) is distributing free copies of a new guide, A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests, that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers, and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South.
The book provides information on developing strategies for controlling 56 of the invasive species in the South. Click here for a free pdf.

Georgia Dept. of Transportation Using EDDMapS

Teamwork is our best chance for controlling invasive species in Georgia and across the United States. Georgia Department of Tranportation (GDOT) shows how that is done. The GDOT Environmental Procedures Manual, Chapter 5, page 6 requires ecology consultants to document invasive species as defined by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council's Class One Invasive Species List to identify, document and record the presence of these invasive species in the EDDMapS database.

EDDMapS (Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System) is a web based tool for mapping the distribution of invasive species across the United States. It was developed by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia in Tifton.

If you would like to join the team working to solve the problem of Invasive species contact your local Exotic Pest Plant Council for membership information and learn how to report invasive species to EDDMapS.

Links for GDOT manual, GA-EPPC and EDDMapS:
GDOT Environmental Procedures Manual
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Way To Go Portland!

The City of Portland, Oregon Bureau of Planning and Sustainability have a new City Council Report: Invasive Plant Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project. Following is a short section from the 228 page document:
What Will the Project Change? The Invasive Plant Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project has four components that focus on actions identified by the Strategy. Click here for the document.
  • Update the Portland Plant List (PPL) to include priority ranks and guidance regarding invasive plants. Staff proposes revisions to the PPL to inform City and community invasive species management activities, program development, and priority setting.
  • Evaluate opportunities to improve invasive plant control through development and non-development situations, including updates to City codes and rules. Staff has evaluated City codes to establish code and policy to effectively manage invasive plant species in development and non-development situations.
  • Coordinate with the Portland Plan project to ensure that invasive species are addressed in the Comprehensive Plan update and the Portland work plan. Through the Portland Plan, the City should establish clear and ambitious policies and objectives to help advance the invasive species management strategy. Policies relating to invasive plants should be addressed in the contexts of public health, safety, environment, and economy.
  • Research the feasibility of establishing a local noxious or invasive weed law. Staff is analyzing the legality and the potential benefits, costs, and impacts of establishing a local noxious weed law. Staff has also researched similar laws in other jurisdictions.

Valentine's Day Bouquets Bring in Invasives

90% of the flowers sold for Valentine's Day are imported from other countries. Along with these foreign flowers comes invasive insects. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ottawa National Forest Hiring Temporary Invasive Plant Crew

The Ottawa National Forest is planning to fill three or four temporary positions for our 2010 invasive plant crew:
Job title = Biological Science Technician (Plants)
Pay = $13.41 to $15.00 per hour.
Duty location = Ironwood, Michigan
When = Approximately May though August.
Applications due March 19, 2010. Click here for application information.

Invasives Bounce Back After Florida's Freezing Weather

Invasive species which threaten South Florida's natural areas and wildlife appear to have survived the coldest weather in the area since the 1940's. Which is bad news since the hope was that cold weather would help reduce the population of the invasive animals significantly. To read the article 'Exotic invasion: Pythons back in the Everglades' written by Curtis Morgan in the Miami Herald, click here.

Grant Helps Agencies Burn Out Invasive Species

The Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District and several other agencies landed a two year, $125,000 grant to clear out downed wood in places such as Black Hawk State Historic Site and West Lake Park. The grant, funded by the U.S. Forest Service, will not only help these agencies burn the dead, dry wood but will also help eliminate invasive plant species. Click here to read more.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Government Cracks Down on Cargo Ships and Hitchhikers

Government officials have begun to crack down on cargo ships that allow invasive species to hitch a ride into the U.S. These hitchhikers have disrupted the ecosystem and have caused billions of dollars in damages. Organisms of all shapes and sizes have invaded the United States, are starving out native species and spreading rapidly. To stop this act, the EPA has begun regulating ballast discharges and other waste. Click here to read more on what the government is doing to stop the spread of invasive species.

Mystery of White Nose Syndrome

Scientists do not know why Howe Cave in New York suddenly became infested with white nose syndrome in 2006. The invasive fungus infests hibernating bats and in the last 5 years has spread to 15 states and killed over 1 million bats. Scientists are racing to figure out where white nose syndrome came from, why it infests bats and how to get rid of it. Click here to read more.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Invasives Adversely Effect Native Pollinators

A Wildlife Fact Sheet by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign provides information about the effects of invasive plant species, invasive animal species and pathogens on pollinators. Click here to read the article.

Rapid Evolution in Invasive Plants?

Research article in the Journal of Ecology finds that rapid evolution in introduced plant species may be more common than previously thought. To read the article 'Is rapid evolution common in introduced plant species?' by Joanna M. Buswell, Angela T. Moles and Stephen Hartley click here.

Bowling Green State University Discusses Great Lakes

At the 24th Reddin Symposium at Bowling Green State University, speakers discussed the importance of ecological preservation of the Great Lakes. Also discussed was the investment in natural resources to benefit generations in the future. The main issue with these topics if how the money is spent and finding solutions that move in the right direction. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

University of Wisconsin-Madison Invasives ID Videos

Check out the series of videos produced by Dr. Mark Renz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They provide key characteristics for the identification of invasive plants listed in Wisconsin's invasive species administrative rule NR 40. Great job! Click here to go to the website.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Florida EPPC Student Grant Program

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) has available funding for a small number of research grants/scholarships for students conducting studies related to invasive exotic plant management in Florida. To be eligible for funding, applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning anywhere within the United States. However, the research must be on a listed Florida invasive plant. An accompanying letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor is strongly encouraged.
Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. 4/8/11. Send proposals by e-mail to: Dr. Betsy Von Holle, using the following naming convention: “LAST NAME_First name_proposal” and “LAST NAME_First name_recommendation”.

Battling Invasive Species

Southeast AgNet recently did a radio clip on battling invasive plant and insect species in America's forest lands. The audio states that a combined effort from all stakeholders involved, including the nation's nearly 50 million hunters and anglers, are needed to help minimize the spread of invasives. Click here to listen to the audio.