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.
Invasive Species Resources
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Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
DHS. Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have already intercepted a dozen significant and potentially destructive pests this year at various ports of entry in Florida as part of the agency's all-encompassing efforts to safeguard American agriculture.
Unknown pests pose a significant risk in agriculture due to a lack of knowledge in controlling the pests and the extent of damage they can cause to crops. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists recently classified eight pests discovered by CBP agriculture specialists in Florida as first-in-the-nation interceptions and another pest as a new species.
North American Invasive Species Management Association.
A new invasive species coalition is celebrating significant milestones in preventing expansion of invasive species after the first anniversary of an important agreement. The North American Invasive Species Management Association, Wildlife Forever, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to implement on-the-ground strategies to engage the American public and help prevent the spread of invasive species under the new agreement.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.
The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.
University of Central Florida.
Researchers have published a first- of-its-kind study that shows that near-infrared (NIR) spectrum cameras can help python hunters more effectively track down these invasive snakes, especially at night.
State of Wyoming.
Reflecting his goal of making Wyoming a national leader in the battle against invasive species, Governor Mark Gordon announced today he has launched an initiative to address terrestrial invasive plants in the state. The initiative will be comprised of two teams -- a Policy Team and a Technical Team, each comprised of local, state and federal government representatives, private citizens representing industry and agricultural groups, as well as scientists and practitioners. The two teams will work cooperatively to develop recommendations for the Governor in the context of a large-scale strategy for invasive species management. Terrestrial invasive species represent a significant threat to Wyoming’s forests, rangelands and agricultural lands with varying levels of impact.
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.
Queen's University Belfast (United Kingdom).
Research led by Queen’s University Belfast has shown that invasive species, such as the grey squirrel, European rabbit and Japanese knotweed, have cost the UK economy over £5 billion over the past 40-50 years. This is one of the highest totals in Europe. Invasive species, those introduced and spreading outside of their native range as a result of human activities, are a growing threat to environments worldwide. Environmental impacts of invasive species, one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, are well-studied. However, few studies have summarised their economic impacts. This study is the largest and most up-to-date combination of economic costs of biological invasions in the UK. The results have been published in the journal NeoBiota.
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.
Wildlife Forever and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that the two organizations have signed an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat the spread of invasive species. The new MOU will work to integrate Clean Drain Dry communications and marketing through tournament operations, angler education, and community outreach. Professional anglers are ambassadors for the fishing industry but also key conservationists in working to protect the sport. Integrating the Clean Drain Dry Initiative brand with professional anglers will give them the right tools to prevent spread and inspire their followers and fans to do the same.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is excited to announce the 7th annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival May 15 and 16 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and HarborWalk Village in Destin. Come out and celebrate the fight against invasive lionfish with the FWC and Destin–Fort Walton Beach. Activities will include fillet demonstrations; family-friendly games and activities; art, diving and conservation booths; and the world’s largest lionfish spearfishing tournament, the Emerald Coast Open. Learn more by visiting FWCReefRangers.com. The 2021 Lionfish Challenge removal incentive program will begin May 21 and continue through Labor Day, Sept. 6. More details on how to get rewarded for your harvest coming soon to FWCReefRangers.com.
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.
North America Invasive Species Management Association.
The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) announces a new addition to its Certified Weed Free Products Program: weed free mulch. Many federal, state, and local lands require the use of certified weed free forage, gravel, or mulch on their properties because invasive plants or noxious weeds cause serious harm to the environment, agriculture, and the economy. Once introduced, weeds can be difficult to control and expensive to manage.
Great Lakes Commission.
Aquatic invasive species inflict millions of dollars of ecological and economic damage to the Great Lakes, with impacts on coastal industries, water quality, native fish and wildlife and human health. Recently, Blue Accounting, in partnership with state and federal agencies, launched a new suite of web-based resources and tools to support early detection of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. The earlier new aquatic invasive species are detected, the easier and less expensive it is to avoid potentially devastating consequences of a large invasion. The new tools released by the Blue Accounting initiative help target efforts to focus on high-risk species and locations across the 11,000 miles of shoreline and 94,000 miles of surface area that make up the Great Lakes basin.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) and Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (Parks) today announced an innovative effort to combat the spread of Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) in New York State. A new online interface will allow volunteer members of the public to assist in surveying for SLF and tracking associated data. The program encourages broader surveying for SLF and increased public awareness of this invasive pest, following confirmed finds of SLF in New York State this past fall.
The new initiative, which launched this week, invites volunteers to sign up to survey a specific area, or grid, of land on iMapInvasives. This online, GIS-based data management system is used to assist citizen scientists and natural resource professionals to protect against the threat of invasive species. Volunteers will also enter data from their survey work into iMapInvasives. More information about the program, including upcoming webinars, can be found at https://www.nyimapinvasives.org/slf.
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.
ITP is pleased to announce the release of North American Hornet Screening Tool. Hornets in the genus Vespa play a critical role as predators in their native habitats, but in North America these species may have a disastrous impact on agriculture by reducing populations of important pollinators such as the honey bee. Hornets also pose a serious health risk to humans because of their powerful sting. North American Hornet Screening Tool is designed for anyone who may encounter these species in the U.S., including the Asian giant hornet (AGH, V. mandarinia).
North American Hornet Screening Tool includes fact sheets and an interactive image gallery to support screening for Asian giant hornet and other potentially invasive hornet (Vespa) species. The interactive gallery can be used as a rudimentary key: by choosing one or more of the filters at the top, you can easily narrow down the images to only those that may match your specimen. A more in-depth version of this tool providing specialized information for identifiers on all exotic hornet (Vespa) species, will be released in 2022.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has unveiled a new online reporting tool for people to report any sightings of feral swine or their damage to the agency. Feral swine, also called wild boar and feral hogs, are an invasive species that cause significant damage to plant communities and wildlife habitat, prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for limited food and clean water resources and potentially spread diseases that pose substantial risk to livestock, wildlife, humans and pets. Commission biologists, along with other members of the N.C. Feral Swine Task Force, are seeking information from the public to better understand the distribution and abundance of feral swine across the state, and to estimate type and extent of damages they are causing, including damage to agricultural crops, timber, wildlife habitats, landscaping and others.
Reported sightings will help members of the task force determine priority areas where they can focus management efforts. Education and outreach events, technical assistance staff, loaner traps, and other control measures will be focused in areas of greatest need. For more information on feral swine in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s feral swine web page.
DOD. USACE. Omaha District.
A draft integrated letter report and programmatic environmental assessment has been developed to determine the economic and environmental impacts of federal participation in state-managed watercraft inspection programs along the Upper Missouri River Basin in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Public comments on the draft EA will be accepted until March 2, 2021.
The existing watercraft inspection programs are managed collaboratively by the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, where watercraft transported along highways are inspected for the presence of aquatic invasive species and decontaminated when detected. If approved, federal participation in the program would be cost-shared (50 percent) with each of the states, and would employ a regional strategy to identify locations that would provide the greatest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species to reservoirs operated and maintained by the Corps in the Upper Missouri River Basin.
Government of Saskatchewan (Canada).
Today, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced the Government of Saskatchewan’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Strategy during an address to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s (SWF) annual convention in Weyburn. The new framework is designed to help the province prevent, address and manage aquatic invasive species (AIS) threats. The ministry and the SWF are partners on the province’s AIS Task Force – which focuses on additional education and monitoring activities – along with other government agencies, conservation groups, non-government organizations and universities. "This strategy emphasizes the need for collaboration and co-ordination with provincial and federal government agencies, non-government organizations and neighbouring jurisdictions to prevent the introduction and spread of high-risk aquatic invasive species," Duncan said. The province's new AIS Strategy, as well as further information about AIS and fishing, is available online.
California Academy of Sciences.
Since arriving to the northern Atlantic Ocean less than 30 years ago, lionfish have quickly become one of the most widespread and voracious invasive species, negatively impacting marine ecosystems—particularly coral reefs—from the northeast coast of the United States to the Caribbean Islands. In a new study, an international research team including the California Academy of Sciences presents four new records of lionfish off the coast of Brazil, confirming the invasion of the predatory fish into the South Atlantic for the first time.