Thursday, December 29, 2011

Felt Soled Boot Restrictions in the United States

As of January 1st, 2012 Alaska, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont will have statewide restrictions on the use of felt soled boots and waders. These felt soled boots are popular with fishermen because they help to prevent slipping on the bottom of slippery freshwater streams and rivers. Banning the felt soled boots can help prevent the spread of the invasive diatom, Didymosphenia geminata or didymo commonly found in streams and rivers across North America. See the links below to learn more.

Friday, December 23, 2011

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

33,000 Giant African Land Snails Captured In Miami

If you have any doubts about how big the invasive species problem is read the article in the Huff Post, 33,000 Giant African Land Snails Captured In Miami . The 33,000 snails were caught in just four months thanks to citizens reporting any sightings of the giant snail. USDA and Florida Department of Agriculture have created a public awareness campaign to spread the word about the voracious and health threatening snail.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flooding Worsened by Invasive Weeds

From a press release in Weed Science Society of America: Flooding Along Our Nation's Rivers Worsened by Invasive Weeds. "This year flooding has ravaged thousands of homes and businesses in communities across the U.S. And scientists say the prevalence of invasive weeds is one of the factors that may be contributing to the damage."
Timothy Prather, University of Idaho said, "Reclaiming riparian areas and restoring native species can be vital to flood control, water quality and even wildlife habitat. It is important that we focus on early identification of invasive weeds, understand their growth patterns and how they spread, and establish an effective management plan before it’s too late."
Read the article for the explanation of how the presence of invasive plants can increase the damage caused by flooding.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coordination at an International Level to Reduce the Spread of Invasives

Reuben P. Keller and Charles Perrings, authors of a recent article in BioOne suggest that coordination and cooperation at an international level is necessary to reduce the spread of invasive species. They recommend that these efforts should be modeled on the already existing international agreements which help to reduce the spread of diseases around the world. Keller and Perrings foresee that it will take several years to reach a working solution and suggest intermediate steps to slow the spread of invasive species until an agreement can be reached in the international community. One of these suggestions is the widespread adoption of existing risk assessments and importation standards already in use in many areas. Read the article: International Policy Options for Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Invasive Species. BioScience Dec 2011, Vol. 61, No. 12: 994-1004.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Illegal Animals Turned in Under Amnesty Program in Hawaii

The State of Hawaii's Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in with no questions asked, immunity from prosecution and no fines.  Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. These animals are not native to Hawaii and would pose a serious risk to native fauna if they were released or escaped into the wild. The HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society will take in illegal animals. Anyone finding or with information on illegal animals should call the PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). Read the News release from Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Python molurus ssp. bivittatus
photo by Skip Snow, National Park Service,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

National Forest System Invasive Species Management Policy

National Forest System Invasive Species Management Policy: "The Forest Service has finalized the development of an internal directive to Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2900 for invasive species management. This final invasive species management directive will provide foundational comprehensive guidance for the management of invasive species on aquatic and terrestrial areas of the National Forest System (NFS). This directive articulates broad objectives, policies, responsibilities, and
definitions for Forest Service employees and partners to more effectively communicate NFS invasive species management requirements at the local, regional, and national levels."
The objectives and goals begin on page 2, with policy and principles beginning on page 3. They are set forth in a clear and easily understood manner. It is stated that many invasive species management activities are already being carried out and indeed have been for some time. The purpose of this policy is to bring those efforts together for a more coordinated management plan. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Unneccessary Extinction of the Redbay Tree

'An Undefended Buffet: The Unnecessary Extinction of the Redbay, a Defining Southern Tree' is an excellent article written for The Nature Conservancy by writer and naturalist Susan Cerulean. Ms. Cerulean lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she keeps watch over the still-healthy redbays along the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers. Through interviews with Chip Bates, Georgia Forestry Commission, and other experts she tells of the threat to redbay trees across the its range in the Southeastern United States.
Sign of a redbay tree infected with the redbay ambrosia beetle
photo by James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bugwood Images now has 150,000 images available!

The Bugwood Image Database has officially crossed the 150,000 image mark!  Since coming online in 2001, we've had steady growth thanks to the efforts of the 1,800 photographers that have posted images in the system.  We have also been very fortunate to have great users that let us know what they would like to see in the future and how the system can be improved.  All of us at the Center wish to thank you for your help in building a useful and dynamic resource! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teaching Kids About Invasive Plants

Some great resources have been created to help teach children about the problems caused by invasive species. Listed here are a few sources. If you know about other resources please send us the information so we can share it with everyone.

Pest Tracker image recruitment

Pest Tracker publishes survey maps for pests of agricultural and forest commodities and provides links to pest news and information.  They also use images from the Bugwood Image Database to illustrate different organisms.  There are currently 120 species that have no images available!  There are many more that need more images to better illustrate thier life cycles and management.  The list for the recruitment project can be found on the Bugwood Image Recruitment page for Pest Tracker.  Here are a few of the species that we need images to illustrate and are pretty common:
  • sour skin of onion (Burkholderia cepacia)
  • dogwood anthracnose (Discula destructiva)
  • brown spot of corn (Physoderma maydis)
  • glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis)
  • soybean stem borer (Dectes texanus)
  • tufted apple bud moth (Platynota idaeusalis)
  • squash vine borer (Melittia cucurbitae)
  • black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon)