Friday, March 27, 2009

Invasive News, Notes & Musings: March 27th, 2009

In Friday’s news we have the wicked inconvenience (Invasive Species; Wicked Inconvenience: part two) of multiple stakeholder groups thinking linearly and operating as if at a football game with winners and losers. Lawsuit Filed to Save Endangered Songbird; Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Threatened by Release of Imported Beetle; Center for Biological Diversity. “ The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Tucson against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The suit seeks review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of APHIS’s program of granting permits for the indiscriminate introduction of the tamarisk leaf-eating beetle into critical habitat of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. The suit should lead to modification of the program and habitat restoration efforts.” Hawaii brings the same concerns with: Moratorium urged for biocontrols, Concerns raised about insects used to target edible plants; Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “Big Island lawmakers have introduced resolutions calling for a ban on biological control agents such as the Brazilian scale insect (Tectococcus ovatus) that would attack strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum).” In keeping with the theme broadly speaking: Scientists Say Herbicide Used on Mexican Border is Safe; FoxNews. “But scientists say the chemical, a relatively common herbicide named Imazapyr, poses little threat to humans or native wildlife. The Border Patrol plans to spray the herbicide to kill Carrizo cane (Arundo donax), which grows in dense thickets along vast stretches of the Rio Grande, which separates the United States and Mexico.”

Each day another community discovers the rewards of traditional gardening paradigms and the costs of to ecosystem services taken for granted. (Sustainability's Ecosystem Service Matrix). Alien invaders threaten native life in city park; The Daily News. “But invasive species like English Ivy, Scotch Broom and Daphne are gradually choking out native plants and trees in Nanaimo's local parks. Residents have used invasive plants in their gardens for years. But gradually these alien species have crept out from backyards and taken root deep within city parks.” Up with plants from Down Under; The Press Democrat. “Sadly, there is no “Gardeners Beware” sign at big-box nurseries that sell one of the most invasive plants in Sonoma County — broom (Cytisus and Genista species).”

The theme is one of unintended consequences of human activity and continuing along we have : Parishes battle over floodgate; A.P. ““The ecosystem of the Spanish Lake watershed has been critically damaged due to the Alligator Bayou floodgate being closed for many years,” it said. The release said that has fostered growth of invasive species — naming three common in south Louisiana — and is killing cypress and aquatic life.”

Like a slow forest fire, the flames of invasive species continue to spread : Communities on alert statewide for beetles; The Daily Item. “The state Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) on Thursday unveiled plans to visit with agricultural groups in Dighton, Wellesley and Worcester over the next few weeks to teach how to identify the invasive species. The timing is critical since it's easier to spot damage to trunks and branches before the growth of new leaves.”

And finally just for consideration and philosophic musings: Penn Biologists Demonstrate that Size Matters…in Snail Shells; Copyright © 2009, University of Pennsylvania, Office of University Communications
“…and determined that a snail making its home in the northwest Atlantic Ocean around Mount Desert Island, Me., has experienced a dramatic increase in the size of its shell during less than a century, providing a clear illustration of how fast and effectively change can occur.The most striking finding, which has not been reported previously in Nucella lapillus, the Atlantic dogwhelk, is that shell length increased at all 19 sites where samples were taken.”

just in: Wildfire Prevention Legislation Passes House with Rep. Lujan's Amendments:
“In my district, invasive species have become a problem - increasing the threat of fire in woodland areas. Several years of drought combined with high tree densities allowed pine bark beetle populations to reach outbreak levels between 2002 and 2004, killing millions of piñon and ponderosa pine trees in New Mexico and Arizona. Aerial survey data found that 3.4 million acres in the region were affected during this period.”

DEC Issues Tips and Reminders for Opening Day of Trout and Salmon Seasons; Source: iStockAnalyst. “With the recent discovery of the fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in New York, and an invasive species of algae, didymo, in the Delaware River system and the Batten Kill, anglers are reminded of the important role that they play in preventing the spread of these and other potentially damaging invasive species and fish diseases. - Anglers are reminded that a new "Green List" of baitfish species that can be commercially collected and/or sold for fishing in any water body in New York where it is legal to use fish as bait has now been established in regulation. For a complete discussion of these regulations and how to identify these approved baitfish species, download the new brochure "Baitfish of New York State" at .”

Port Hope taking action against ash tree enemy; © 2009 , Sun Media . If you live in Port Hope and are planning to plant an ash tree, you might want to think again. Council recently approved a recommendation from its tree committee to suspend the planting of ash trees within the municipality in an effort to combat the spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that originated in eastern Russia and northern China.”

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