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You are here: Home / News and Events / In the News / Aug 2010
News and Events
In the News

Aug 2010

Selected "In the News" items previously featured on NISIC for this month. See the In the News Archives to view previously posted items by year and month.

See our What's New section for current items of interest.

Burning western junipers after they have been cut down instead of just leaving the trees on the ground helps native grasses get reestablished, according to new ARS studies. Photo courtesy of Dave Powell, U.S. Forest Service.

Burning Invasive Juniper Trees Boosts Perennial Grass Recovery (Aug 27, 2010)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
ARS rangeland scientists have figured out that cutting down invasive juniper trees and burning them in the wintertime not only reduces the wildfire risk from the dead trees, but also helps keep invasive cheatgrass at bay and helps native perennial plants to become re-established.

Quagga Mussel

Grants Respond to the Spread of Invasive Mussels in the West (Aug 24, 2010)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that nearly $600,000 will be awarded to nine projects targeting three of the highest priorities from the Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters. The plan provides a collective approach to fight the westward spread of quagga and zebra mussels.


Invasive Bullfrogs Done in by Flash Floods (Aug 13, 2010)
Discovery News.
Scientists surveying native tree frogs and invasive bullfrogs in the mountain oases for Mexico's Baja California found evidence that the bullfrogs are blindsided by infrequent, powerful tropical cyclones that can occur. The native frogs are adapted to avoid the violent flooding that ensues after torrential rains, and stay hidden and dormant during the summer and fall, when hurricanes are likely to strike. Bullfrogs live and breed at the same time the hurricanes are active, which makes them more vulnerable when hurricanes cross the Baja Peninsula. The results of the study mesh with areas what many biologists have been arguing for other places in western North America, which suffer from invasive fish. The fish thrive in areas with dams with a normal amount of water, but remove the dam or release water in a way that mimics the extreme high and low flows of many western rivers, and the invasives suffer while the native species gain ground. The study is published in the October issue of Journal of Arid Environments.


Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Selection of Collaborative Forest Restoration Projects (Aug 13, 2010)
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration projects in nine states that promote healthier, safer and more productive public lands. The projects include partnership efforts on forest restoration treatments that reduce wildfire risk, enhance fish and wildlife habitats, control invasive species, increase resistance to insects and diseases, and maintain and improve water quality. Additional information on the program can be found on the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP) site.

Increased housing density

Vilsack Highlights Report Showing Threats to Private Forested Lands (Aug 11, 2010)
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held a national conference call to highlight a USDA Forest Service report entitled Private Forests, Public Benefits: Increased Housing Density and Other Pressures on Private Forest Contributions showing that privately held forests in the U.S. are under substantial stress from development and fragmentation and that increased housing density in forests will exacerbate other threats to forests from wildfire, insects, pathogens and pollution. Information on threats from insects and pests is in Part 3: Additional Pressures (PDF | 5.4 MB). The report is one in a series from the Forest on the Edge project.

Little brown bat with fungus on muzzle (White-nose syndrome) -  NY Dept of Envrionmental Conservation

Bats Facing Regional Extinction in the Northeast from Rapidly Spreading Disease, UCSC Researcher Finds (Aug 5, 2010)
University of California - Santa Cruz.
A new infectious disease, white nose syndrome spreading rapidly across the northeastern United States has killed millions of bats and is predicted to cause regional extinction of a once-common bat species, according to the findings of a Santa Cruz researcher. The disease, which was first discovered near Albany, New York in 2006, affects hibernating bats. If the death rates and spread continue as they have over the past four years, this disease will likely lead to the regional extinction of the little brown myotis, previously one of the most common species in North America. The findings are published in An Emerging Disease Causes Regional Population Collapse of a Common North American Bat Species in Science.

Invasive Plants in Southern Forests Publication

Forest Service Updates Free Guide to Invasive Plants in Southern Forests (Aug 4, 2010)
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station.
Gardeners, foresters, landowners and others concerned about nonnative invasive plants in the South can request free copies of "A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests (PDF | 11.4 MB)". The long-awaited book is an update of the very popular "Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control", published by the Forest Service in 2003, and gives users a more comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs invading the region’s forests and other natural areas.


USDA Dedicates August to Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness (Aug 2, 2010)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Beginning this year, APHIS will engage the public each August to increase understanding about the risks that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America's agricultural and natural resources. See USDA's blog for more information.


Filleting the Lion -- If we can't beat them, let's eat them!
DOC. NOAA. National Ocean Service.
The lionfish, a native of the Western Pacific Ocean, is a predator that is flourishing in coastal waters of the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean. NOAA scientists researching the lionfish's spread and impact are encouraging a seafood market as a means of mitigating the species' impacts on reef communities. To promote awareness of the lionfish as food, scientists launched the "Eat Lionfish" Campaign (PDF | 109 KB) on Jun 11. NOAA has also created pull cards for the Eat Lionfish Campaign (PDF | 1.4 MB).

Marine life

What Lives in the Sea? Census of Marine Life Publishes Historic Roll Call of Species in 25 Key Ocean Areas (PDF | 894 KB) (Aug 2, 2010)
Census of Marine Life.
Census of Marine Life scientists released an inventory of species distribution and diversity in key global ocean areas. The scientists combined information collected over centuries with data obtained during the decade-long Census to create a roll call of species in 25 biologically representative regions -- from the Antarctic through temperate and tropical seas to the Arctic. According to the Census studies, the main threats to marine life to date have been overfishing, lost habitat, invasive species and pollution, although the relative importance of the threats varied among regions. The findings are published in a collection of papers, Marine Biodiversity and Biogeography - Regional Comparisons of Global Issues in PLoS ONE.

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