The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is urging anglers to report and dispose of any invasive Northern Snakehead fish that may be caught in the lower Susquehanna River. This advisory follows the documented movement of 21 Northern Snakeheads past the Conowingo Dam into the Conowingo Pool, a 14-mile-long section of the Susquehanna River located between the Conowingo Dam in Maryland and the Holtwood Dam in Pennsylvania. Anglers are reminded that possession, transport, and importation of a live snakehead is unlawful in both Pennsylvania and Maryland. Any of these invasive fish that are caught should be killed and disposed of properly or consumed. Anglers who suspect they have caught a snakehead are encouraged to NOT release it, and report it to the PFBC at (610) 847-2442 or by sending an email to email@example.com. For more information on Northern Snakeheads in Pennsylvania, including an identification guide, visit the PFBC snakehead resource page.
Invasive Species Resources
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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced the release of its 2021 Asian Carp Action Plan, a comprehensive portfolio of projects focused on Great Lakes protection.
DOI. Bureau of Land Management.
The Bureau of Land Management has released the final programmatic environmental impact statement for fuels reduction and rangeland restoration in the Great Basin. This programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) is intended to further efforts to conserve and restore sagebrush communities within a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.
Sagebrush communities in the Great Basin are a vital part of Western working landscapes and are home to over 350 species of plants and wildlife. Intact sagebrush communities are disappearing within the Great Basin due to increased large and severe wildfires, the spread of invasive annual grasses, and the encroachment of pinyon-juniper. The Great Basin region is losing sagebrush communities faster than they can reestablish naturally. Fuels reduction and rangeland restoration treatments can reduce fire severity, increase sagebrush communities' resistance to invasive annual grasses and improve their ability to recover after wildfires.
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.
Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) is one of the worst invasive plants in the South. It dominates the shrub layer and often becomes the only shrub underneath trees, especially in streamside areas. But insects and spiders living in fallen leaves and leaf litter were not affected by a privet invasion in Georgia, as a recent study shows.
Western Governors' Association.
Officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced in June 2017 that DOI would coordinate with the Western Governors' Association, states, tribes, federal agencies, and other partners in a project to help strengthen existing efforts to address invasive mussels. The actions described in the 2017 report, Safeguarding the West from Invasive Species, Actions to Strengthen Federal, State, and Tribal Coordination to Address Invasive Mussels (PDF | 1.3 MB), vary from policy and program reviews to on-the-ground efforts to prevent, contain, and control invasive mussels. One recommendation in Safeguarding the West was the development of a reference manual to facilitate rapid response activities in the event of mussel introductions in the Columbia River Basin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently finalized and released this manual, Dreissenid Mussel Rapid Response in the Columbia River Basin: Recommended Practices to Facilitate Endangered Species Act Section 7 Compliance (PDF | 3.63 MB).
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The partnership formed in the early 2000s as a task force to manage invasive feral swine, which root up crops and pastures causing billions in damage nationwide each year. Feral swine also spread disease to livestock, wildlife and humans. Ground-nesting birds and other wildlife are easy prey for feral swine. And the swine put native wildlife at risk by competing for resources and destroying habitats and ecosystems.
You can help keep Colorado free of feral swine:
- Spread the word that in Colorado it’s illegal to possess, transport or release feral swine, wild swine species or hybrids.
- Report sightings of feral swine or transportation activities to USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
- Get more information at the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program.
United States Department of Agriculture.
Cattle grazing on a nearly half mile wide targeted strip of cheatgrass near Beowawe, Nevada, created a firebreak that helped limit a rangeland fire to just 54 acres this past August compared to rangeland fires that more commonly race across thousands of acres of the Great Basin. This "targeted grazing" firebreak and eight others are part of an evaluation project being managed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partnering with other federal, state and local agencies and local cattle ranchers in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. These demonstration sites are being studied so the concept's efficacy and environmental impacts can be uniformly evaluated and compared.
Cheatgrass, also known as downy brome, is an invasive annual that dominates more than 100 million acres of the Great Basin in the western U.S. Germinating each winter, cheatgrass grows furiously in spring and dies in early summer, leaving the range carpeted in golden dry tinder. The Great Basin now has the nation's highest wildfire risk, and rangeland fires are outpacing forest fires when it comes to acreage destroyed.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced the release of $3,442,389 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 grant funding to suppress and control the brown tree snake (BTS), Boiga irregularis, primarily on Guam. Funds also support prevention, detection, and rapid response efforts in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Hawaii, in addition to research and development on how to improve suppression methods and potentially eradicate the snake on Guam. The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) Brown Tree Snake Control program FY 2020 funds are divided among several federal, state, and territorial agencies that collaborate in support of the three pillars of BTS suppression: $1,229,296 is used for control in rapid response and research activities, $1,724,210 is used for interdiction, and $488,883 is used for prevention through coordination and outreach.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has announced $4,095,922 million in Brown Tree Snake Control program fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding as administered through the Technical Assistance Program. An additional amount of $1,791,421 from Coral Reef and Natural Resources FY 2021 funds was also announced earlier this year for the purpose of controlling and mitigating other invasive species in the Insular Areas besides the brown tree snake. "Islands are particularly vulnerable to invasive species that disrupt natural, long-standing biological processes and threaten our unique, island eco-systems," said Deputy Assistant Secretary Keone Nakoa. "Each year, OIA provides significant funds to critical efforts seeking to help restore balance."
The Brown Tree Snake Control program FY 2021 funding was divided among several governments and federal partners to include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Hawai'i, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of the Interior. For more information about OIA funds provided to counter invasive species visit: https://www.doi.gov/oia/coral-reef-and-natural-resources-initiative.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $942,206 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative grants to eradicate and control the spread of invasive species in the U.S. territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), as well as in the Republic of Palau, and Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Funding will be used to introduce biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetles, control and eradicate feral cats and monitor lizards, and destroy wild vines, all of which are disruptive to ecological systems and impacting communities and livelihoods in the islands.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has announced $2,772,443 in Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative (CRNR) grant funds to protect coral reef resources in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states. The funding includes $1,541,421 that will support efforts to control and eradicate invasive species in the insular areas. Grants for fiscal year 2021 to combat invasive species have been awarded as follows:
- University of Guam for research and related efforts to counter the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle - $866,423
- Micronesia Conservation Trust, a regional non-governmental organization, for the eradication, control, and management of invasive species in Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap - $300,000
- Island Conservation, a non-profit organization, for the removal of invasive rats in Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands - $299,838
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Government for Sabana Pandanus Forest control and native trees restoration project - $75,160
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
For the first time, an invasive brown treesnake population has been found on Cocos Island, an 83.1 acre atoll located 1.5 miles off the southwest coast of Guam. The brown treesnake was a major contributor to the loss of nine of 11 native forest birds and significant population declines of several native lizards, bats and other bird species on Guam. They now pose a threat to the wildlife of Cocos Island. Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources is working with partners to better understand how many brown treesnakes are on the island and the best way to remove them.
National Science Foundation.
The green crab, Carcinus maenas, is a widely distributed invasive species that eventually alters its new environment. It's assumed that such species have high genetic diversity, or a variety of characteristics allowing them to adapt and thrive. But the green crab has low genetic diversity, while still spreading rapidly in a new part of the world. A U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study led by Carolyn Tepolot of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is investigating the adaptive mechanisms of the green crab along the west coast of North America, where it has shown extensive dispersal in the last decade despite minimal genetic diversity. The results are published in Molecular Ecology. The project is a collaboration among scientists at WHOI, Portland State University, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the University of California, Davis.
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
On August 27, an angler caught a northern snakehead from Reservoir Pond in Canton, Massachusetts. After obtaining and analyzing the specimen, MassWildlife confirmed this fish was a snakehead, an invasive species in Massachusetts. This fish was most likely released by a pet owner when it grew too large for its aquarium. Possession and liberation of snakeheads are both illegal in Massachusetts. Transferring exotic fish into local waterways can cause a host of problems, including competition with native species and spread of disease. This recent catch is the fifth confirmed snakehead documented in Massachusetts since 2002. All snakeheads found in Massachusetts were adults, and MassWildlife has found no evidence of reproduction at any of the locations where the snakeheads were caught.
Anglers may confuse snakeheads with other native species like bowfin. Anyone who captures a fish that can be confidently identified as a snakehead should keep the fish, kill it, and report it to MassWildlife by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (508) 389-6300. MassWildlife encourages anglers who are less certain about the species of fish they have caught to send photos showing various angles of the fish. Under no circumstance should a suspected snakehead be transported to another location until identification is confirmed.
Western Governor's Association.
This article highlights the role of data in responding to the Asian giant hornet and describes how officials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture employed 'citizen scientists' and ‘cooperators’ to locate and eradicate a nest of deadly Asian giant hornets in their state.
See also: Western Governors' Association Launches Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign (Dec 18, 2020)
Idaho watercraft inspectors have identified zebra mussels on a commercially hauled sailboat destined for Lake Coeur d’Alene in the state’s northern panhandle, marking the first time the invasive species has been found live this year.
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) today announced that it has identified two dead specimens of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in Massachusetts communities, and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest. The specimens were recovered in the towns of Milford and Norwood, and were brought into Massachusetts on materials shipped from Pennsylvania counties currently under a spotted lanternfly quarantine. Additionally, MDAR was recently notified that nursery stock with spotted lanternfly egg masses and adults may have been unintentionally imported and planted in several parts of Massachusetts.
MDAR is urging anyone who has received goods or materials, such as plants, landscaping materials, or outdoor furniture, from a state with a known SLF infestation to carefully check the materials, including any packaging, for signs of spotted lanternfly. Currently, there are known introductions of SLF in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. If any indication of SLF is found, residents should take a photo or collect the specimen, and report any potential sightings of the pest using MDAR’s online reporting form. Residents should look for large, gray insects, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings, or inch-long, rectangular yellowish-brown egg masses covered with a gray waxy coating.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The governors of Illinois and Michigan today agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gov. JB Pritzker today announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project. Further strengthening the path forward, the State of Illinois also signed a separate PED agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the initial Brandon Road design. The state will serve as the non-federal sponsor, agreeing to help fund design of a portion of the project and to further advance full project design efforts to approximately 30 percent completion.
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois, is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the invasive Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. The Brandon Road project would install layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing barge passage.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Montana Invasive Species Council.
The Montana and Washington invasive species councils have joined forces to stop wild pigs from crossing borders. The two councils issued a report with recommendations and best management practices aimed at helping federal, state, provincial and local landowners manage wild pigs in the western United States and Canada. "Wild pig populations are expanding in the western provinces of Canada and in the United States." said Stephanie Criswell, coordinator of the Montana Invasive Species Council. "We are at a unique point in time where we can work together to prevent Canadian wild pigs from spreading across borders into unaffected states like Montana."
In early 2020, the two invasive species councils convened a working group of more than 40 federal, state and Canadian feral swine experts to discuss challenges and opportunities to prevent feral swine along interstate and international borders. Finalized this month, the report includes 22 recommendations that address five strategic areas of feral swine management. Recommendations include standardizing communications to the public, expanding monitoring networks by partnering with non-traditional organizations such as hunting groups, and formalizing notification protocols for reports that will be shared between state and provincial authorities along the international border. The complete report can be found at misc.mt.gov.
Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center. IPM Insights (June 2021: Volume 18, Issue 1).
The National Integrated Pest Management Coordinating Committee (NIPMCC) has released a series of whitepapers explaining how pests threaten the security of the U.S. food supply, how an IPM approach offers the most effective means of managing pests, and why ongoing investment in IPM research and extension is critical to keeping pace with the ever-evolving nature of these threats. These new issue papers discuss role of IPM in combating resistance and invasive species, safeguarding food supply, and minimizing economic losses.