Invasive Species News and Research, March 2020

Invasive species news from across North America. March was a big month for published research on how invasive amphibians, plants and more gain advantages over native species. Plus, some commentary on the thing everyone's thinking about.

Every month, new species are introduced to our lands and waters, new studies are published, and new methods of control are tested—with impacts varying across the map. It would be nearly impossible to stay on top of every piece of invasive species news.

However, the staff and board of the North American Invasive Species Management Association review headlines each month. This helps us stay on top of trends and further our mission to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. We then share invasive species news most relevant for people who manage terrestrial and aquatic invasive species across the the United States, Canada and occasionally the world.

So, what happened this month?

  • Research is our most active section this March, with new findings on how fire stimulates some invasive plants, how invasive amphibians tolerate road salt and other chemicals better than their native counterparts, and more.
  • COVID-19 is on the minds of many of the country’s most successful AIS inspection stations. Some inspections are halted, while others are tentatively proceeding as planned. Many group volunteer activities are likewise postponed, while some organizations are working to make people aware of special online invasive species offerings.
  • Partnerships in Michigan and Missouri are gaining traction statewide.
  • These, plus much more! Read on:

 

Success Stories: Prevention, Eradication and Restoration

Plant quarantine becomes an essential step in fire ant management

China – Read on NeoBiota

The experience and lessons learned from fire ant management in China could benefit other countries when facing similar challenges.

Regional efforts find unique ways to combat invasive species

Michigan – Read on The Daily News

To address the diversity of needs across the state, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program annually supports Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas.

How to tackle an invasive species crisis? Build a collaborative team.

Adult and late-instar nymph stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys, feed on a Honey Crisp apple, a popular cultivar among consumers. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), Beltsville, MD. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Pennsylvania – Read on Entomology Today

Ultimately, the rich outputs generated by the large and dedicated group of research and Extension personnel and the approximately 200 undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who received specialized training as part of the project have resulted in a highly successful project that reduced the impact of BMSB in cropping systems and provided a template for future collaborative efforts combatting other invasive species.

 

Prevention, Outreach and Education

Amid concerns about COVID, Watercraft quagga mussel check points gear up for summer

Pacific Northwest – Read on the Capital Press

Many stations are up and running — some are gearing up as employees are trained and others are open year-round — well ahead of the summer peak in demand.

Lake Tahoe closed to boat launches; inspections halted due to COVID-19

California, Nevada – Read on Tahoe Daily Tribune

Unfortunate invasive species news: watercraft inspections to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species in the lake will be halted until at least April 16.

Washington Invasive Species Council offers invasive species curriculum

Washington – Access the lessons on the Washington Invasive Species Council

Middle school lessons teach your students about invasive species.

 
More resources for your social distancing: NAISMA is offering 20+ hours of free webinar content through April. Learn about invasive species prevention tools, outreach, regulations, AIS, terrestrial invasive species, weed management and more.

 

New Research

Invasive amphibians may be more tolerant to chemical changes than native amphibians

Minnesota – Read on Chemistry and Ecology

Understanding the consequences of chemical contamination in aquatic ecosystems is critical for managing human impacts in these environments as the human population continues to grow.

Examination of commercially available bird feed for weed seed contaminants

North America – Read on Invasive Plant Science and Management

Amaranthus species were present in 94 of the 98 bags of bird feed. 

Can ‘sentinel trees’ warn of devastating pests?


Don’t miss next month’s invasive species news. Sign up for the Early Detector, our free monthly newsletter for invasive species managers.

 

Detection, Management and Control

Latest weapon against lionfish invasion? Meet the Roomba of the sea.

Atlantic Ocean – Read on Christian Science Monitor

How to counter invasive species, a common, and often intractable, problem? One entrepreneur’s clever approach offers lessons in finding solutions in the unlikeliest of places.

Agencies, partners, volunteers work to combat invasive species in Missouri

Missouri – Read on the Jefferson City News Tribune

MDC Habitat Management Coordinator Nathan Muenks said invasive species are the second greatest threat to the environment, only behind “complete conversion of a system” — such as paving over a prairie and putting parking lots in its place — and complete conversions are happening at a slower pace than at the turn of the last century.

 

 

Policy and Rulemaking

National Marine Manufacturers Association hosts invasive species event on Capitol Hill

United States – Read on Boating Industry

Representative Garamendi noted that stopping and reversing the spread of AIS is a national issue that Congress should address and added that robust federal investment is needed to tackle the issue.

Florida Senate targets bear poaching, shark fishing and invasive species

Florida – Read on Orlando Weekly

The Senate Rules Committee backed proposals that would expand the use of drones to help fight invasive species and designate coastal regions of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties as the state’s newest aquatic preserve.

 

Conversations

U-M students use invasive species to create environmentally friendly hair product for black women

Lillian Augusta founders Nana Britwum (center) and Jannice Newsom (right) accept an award at the Michigan Business Challenge.

 

Michigan – Read on Concentrate

Newson and Britwum are creating biodegradable braiding hair made from phragmites, an invasive plant species.

Pandemics in Nature

Great Lakes – Read on Cedar Springs Post

People are not well attuned to the economic, social, environmental impacts that result from the successful establishment of exotic species. The stock market would fluctuate more greatly if we did.

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By learning about invasive species and participating in events across the nation, elected officials and the general public can work together to solve invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales.

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