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
See our What's
New section for current items of interest.
Worth Billions to Agriculture: Pest-control Services at Risk (Mar
United States Geological Survey.
Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the U.S. likely
save the U.S. agricultural industry
at least $3 billion a year, and yet insectivorous bats are among the most overlooked
economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America, according
to an analysis published in this week's Science
magazine Policy Forum. Insectivorous bats suppress populations of nocturnal
insects, but bats in North America are under severe pressure from two major new
threats -- White-nose syndrome (WNS) and
the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations
of insectivorous bats in North America.
Scientists Help Block Ship-borne Bioinvaders Before They Dock (Mar
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
Ballast water taken
up by ships in coastal waters teems with plankton
and microbes. When discharged at the next port of
call, these hitchhikers can wreak havoc on receiving
ecosystems. The U.S. Coast
Guard has proposed a new set of rules, Ballast
Water Discharge Standard limiting the number
of organisms allowed, in line with current International
Maritime Organization standards. To help regulators
and engineers develop and test treatment systems,
and ultimately enforce the new standards, a team
of Smithsonian researchers developed a new model
that will facilitate accurate screening of vessels
for dangerous species before they unload. The team's
findings are published in the journal Environmental
Science & Technology (2011, 45 (8),
Gardens Blamed for Spreading Plant Invaders (Mar
More than half of the world's most invasive plant species spread into new habitats
from botanic gardens, according to an analysis of historic "alien" escapes.
A researcher at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand started with
34 plants that were on a list of the world's 100
worst invasive species, collated by the International Union for Conservation
of Nature. By searching the literature for evidence of where the plants had originated,
he reported that no less than 19 of the 34 had almost certainly spread from botanic
gardens. The study is published in the Trends in Ecology article, Addressing
the threat to biodiversity from botanic gardens. Although most cases analyzed
happened between the 1800s and the mid-1900s, there are reports of more recent
releases which merit a tightening up of biosecurity, researchers warn.
and Speed of Lionfish Spread Unprecedented (Mar 14,
United States Geological Survey.
The rapid spread of lionfishes along
the U.S. eastern seaboard, Gulf of Mexico,
and Caribbean is the first documented case of a non-native marine fish establishing
a self-sustaining population in the region, according to recent USGS studies.
More than 30 species of non-native marine fishes have been sighted off the coast
of Florida alone, but until now none of these have demonstrated the ability to
survive, reproduce, and spread successfully. For more information, see the article Update
on geographic spread of invasive lionfishes in the Western North Atlantic Ocean,
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico published in Aquatic Invasions.
For additional information on lionfish, see the USGS Lionfish
Russian Scientists Develop High-Tech Crop Map (Mar
a new interactive website that shows the geographic
distributions of 100 crops; 640 species of crop diseases,
pests, and weeds; and 560 wild crop relatives growing
in Russia and neighboring countries. Downloadable
maps and geographic information system (GIS) software
are also available, allowing layering of data, for
example, relating major wheat production areas to
concentrations of Russian wheat aphids. AgroAtlas
also has the potential to aid in the detection and
identification of insect pests, pathogens or weeds
that have entered -- or could enter -- the U.S. from
Russia or neighboring countries. Read more about
this research in the article ARS and
Russian Scientists Develop "AgroAtlas" With
Worldwide Benefits, published in the Mar 2011
issue of Agricultural Research.
Find That Non-native Snakes Are Taking a Toll on Native Birds (Mar
The Everglades National Park in Florida has become the well-established home
of the non-native Burmese python -- known to be a predator of native species.
Scientists, for the first time, have conducted a detailed analysis of the avian
component of the python's diet and the negative impact the snakes may have on
Florida’s native birds, including some endangered species. They found that
birds, including endangered species, accounted for 25 percent of the python's
diet in the Everglades. The findings can be applied to a wider geographical
area as pythons can also inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and their impact
is not restricted to just the native bird species within the Everglades. The
study is published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology article Birds
Consumed by the Invasive Burmese Python Python molurus bivittatus) in
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.
Videos Highlight Growing Problem (Mar 9, 2011)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released two videos about the growing presence
of non-native nutria in Oregon and Washington,
two of 15 states with stable or increasing nutria populations. The invasive mammals,
native to South America, cause ecological damage and are potentially harmful
to native wildlife and humans. Nutria populations in Louisiana and Maryland are
considered beyond eradication, which could potentially become a reality for Oregon
and Washington if nothing is done to battle current populations. The Service
hopes individuals will educate themselves about nutria and other invasive species
in order to preserve the Northwest's native plant and animal life. The videos Following
the Invasive Nutria in the Northwest and Using
Radio Telemetry to Track Nutria Movement can be viewed on YouTube.
Species Settlement: New Ballast Water Permit Should Help Protect
American Coasts, Lakes and Rivers (Mar 8, 2011)
National Resources Defense Council.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has agreed to
issue a new permit regulating ballast water discharges
from commercial vessels in response to a settlement of lawsuits brought by
a dozen conservation groups challenging the legality of EPA's
existing permit. Ballast water is the number one source for a number of aquatic
nuisances such as the so-called "fish Ebola," the spiny
water flea, and zebra and quagga mussels.
Under the settlement, EPA has
agreed to publish a draft of a new Vessel General Permit by Nov 2011 and to issue
a new permit by Nov 2012, which would not go into effect until the current permit
expires in Dec 2013.
and Great Lakes Advocates Join to Stop Asian Carp (Mar
Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Debbie Stabenow joined Great Lakes experts and local
advocates at a news conference in Detroit to call
on Congress to swiftly act on legislation to protect
the Great Lakes from Asian
Carp. Sens. Stabenow (D-MI) and Dick Durbin (D-IL)
introduced The Stop Asian Carp Act in the Senate
and Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation
in the House (H.R.892),
to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species
from entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago
Waterway. The Stop Asian Carp Act will require the
speedy creation of an action plan to permanently
separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Area Waterway
System, where experts believe Asian Carp could enter
and cause irreparable harm to the Great Lakes.
Alert! Firewood: Threat From Invasive Beetles (PDF | 205 KB)
Massachussets Pest Outreach Project.
Prepared by: DOI. NPS.
Integrated Pest Management Program.
Firewood may contain non-native insects and plant diseases. Bringing firewood
into the park from other areas may accidentally spread pest insects and diseases
that threaten park resources and the health of our forests.
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|Last Modified: Jan 07, 2014|