Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Recently, the health of coconut palms has come under severe threat. The Pacific Community (SPC), working with Pacific Island countries and territories, and development partners, is looking for ways to meet this threat before it devastates the hopes of economic progress in the region. In August of 2017 an alert was issued identifying a new danger to the Pacific, which is causing devastation to coconut palms and expanding rapidly across the region. The new threat comes from a longstanding adversary in the region: the rhinoceros beetle.
International Maritime Organization.
Amendments to an international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of potentially invasive species in ships' ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (the BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to address this problem. The BWM Convention entered into force in 2017. The amendments formalise an implementation schedule to ensure ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard ("D-2 standard") aimed at ensuring that viable organisms are not released into new sea areas, and make mandatory the Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems, which sets out how ballast water management systems used to achieve the D-2 standard have to be assessed and approved. This will help ensure that aquatic organisms and pathogens are removed or rendered harmless before the ballast water is released into a new location – and avoid the spread of invasive species as well as potentially harmful pathogens.
UN. FAO. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
An insect that can infest and damage hundreds of hectares of maize fields, literally overnight, is sweeping across Asia – alarming smallholder farmers and threatening livelihoods – but the damage can be limited, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. Fall Armyworm is native to the Americas. However, since 2016 it has been aggressively moving ever eastwards, sweeping across Africa, and making landfall for the first time in Asia last summer. Fall Armyworm (FAW) was first detected in India in July 2018 and by January of this year, it had spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan Province.
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
Provides news updates and other resources
Tennessee Valley Authority.
Last year, the TVA found water hyacinth in a slough near Scottsboro. TVA quickly partnered with the State of Alabama, bringing experts from both sides to start addressing the invasive water weed. Water hyacinth is bad news for Guntersville and other great fisheries in the Tennessee Valley. The plant can quickly outcompete other beneficial plants, often creating biological wastelands. Hartis and his team are asking the public to be on the lookout for hyacinth this summer. “If you see a [hyacinth] plant, pull it out of the water immediately and put it in the trash. We don’t want plants to float to a new area and establish a new colony.” If you find a large area of hyacinth, please report it to TVA's Public Land Information Center at (800) 882-5263 (between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern).
Restoring islands through the removal of non-native invasive mammals is a powerful biodiversity conservation tool. This new study now shows that human communities on islands could benefit from restoration actions, which can potentially reduce or eliminate the burden of diseases transmitted to people by invasive species. Simply put, removal of invasive species can benefit human health in addition to ecological health.
In response to the growing threat of invasive species, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has called for urgent action to tackle the global spread of invasive species, even as the recent fall armyworm outbreak casts doubts over Africa and Asia’s preparedness to fight the scourge. The call was made at the 2018 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali, Rwanda, by CABI’s Director General for Development, Dr Dennis Rangi. His announcement follows publication of CABI’s insights paper: Invasive Species: The hidden threat to sustainable development (PDF | 598 KB) at AGRF and this year’s launch of CABI’s Action on Invasives programme.
At its triennial Review Conference of Member Countries in Egham, UK, on 26-27 July, CABI launched a major new initiative to protect vulnerable rural communities in the fight against invasive alien species. Building on its 100-year track record in invasive species management, CABI will deliver a unique global programme to support 50 million vulnerable African and Asian farming families impacted by species that are out of control and threatening their livelihoods. This will link with, and build upon, the highly successful CABI-led Plantwise programme, which has already reached nearly 5 million farmers in 34 countries. Over the coming months and years, CABI will focus on tackling some of the worst alien invaders in Africa and Asia - weeds, insects and diseases that devastate crops and pastureland, as well as deplete the many natural resources on which rural communities rely.
CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert (PDF | 42 KB) published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest's rapid spread across Africa in 2017.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable. Plant health partners in Canada are pleased to announce the establishment of the Canadian Plant Health Council – fulfilling a multi-partner commitment to collaboratively implement the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. The Canadian Plant Health Council will address priorities for the plant health sector, working together on preventive approaches and activities to protect forests, agriculture and other plants from pests, diseases and other risks.
Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries.
A plant disease that presents a serious threat to the U.S. citrus industry has been detected in Alabama. Federal and state plant health officials have confirmed the identification of citrus greening (CG), also known as Huanglongbing or HLB, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. This is the first confirmation of citrus greening in Alabama despite biannual surveys for the pathogen by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI).
The restoration of Pinzón Island continues following the successful rat eradication campaign in December 2012, carried out by the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), in collaboration with Island Conservation and The Raptor Center. In addition to the exciting news of natural recruitment of juvenile tortoises into the population, a potentially new endemic snail species has recently been discovered.
UN. FAO. International Plant Protection Convention.
You cannot protect the environment without also safeguarding plant health. When plant pests and diseases spread into new areas they seriously damage entire ecosystems, putting at risk biological diversity and the environment itself. Tiny and lethal at the same time, plant pests and invasive alien species have been recently identified as the main driver of biodiversity loss. Pests are also responsible for losses of up to USD 220 billion in agricultural trade each year and the loss of 40 percent of the global food crop production. Climate change is making the situation even worse. It is changing the life cycle of pests – sometimes increasing the number of yearly generations - and creating new niches where they can thrive. For more information see the IPPC factsheet "Plant Health and Environmental Protection (PDF | 1.22 MB)".
European Alien Species Information Network.
Close to 7,000 different species are owned by pet owners across Europe, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish. Some of these pet species are imported from outside Europe and can potentially cause ecological problems if they escape or are released in the environment. The importation of some invasive alien species is prohibited (Council Regulation (EC) 338/97 (PDF | 3.78 MB)) due to their invasive character and the fact that their introduction has an adverse impact on native species. In addition, the Council of Europe has designed a voluntary code of conduct (PDF | 1.92 MB) to raise awareness within the pet industry and among owners and keepers of pets and provide practical guidance to reduce further the chances of pet species becoming invasive in Europe.
UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.
The ongoing spread of wheat rusts, a group of fungal plant diseases that stymy the production of the staple grain and other crops, is raising concern in Central Asia and the Middle East and sparking closer international collaboration to study, detect and prevent the threat from advancing further.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of Whirling Disease in fish in Johnson Lake in Banff National Park. This is the first case of whirling disease in Canada. The federal and provincial governments will work together to develop an appropriate response plan as additional information about the disease situation is confirmed.
The future is looking a little brighter for seabirds in French Polynesia following the first successful removal of invasive rats in the Marquesas Archipelago. The project, implemented by the Societe d’Ornithologie de Polynesie (Manu), Island Conservation, BirdLife International and Association Vaiku’a i te manu o Ua, will protect a nationally significant population of 90,000 Sooty Terns. Invasive rats present on the island devoured seabird eggs and chicks and native plants. Free from invasive rats, seabirds can once again safely nest and native plants can grow tall and thrive.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
More than 50 non-native species have found their way to the Galápagos Islands, over 10 times more than scientists previously thought, reports a new study in Aquatic Invasions published Thursday, March 28. The study, a joint effort of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Williams College, and the Charles Darwin Foundation, documents 53 species of introduced marine animals in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the largest marine protected areas on Earth. Before this study came out, scientists knew about only five.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The Government of Canada is investing up to $20 million over five years, and ongoing, to Canada's Asian Carp Program to continue prevention efforts through early warning surveillance, partnering and outreach activities. This funding will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada to expand the Asian Carp Program to increase protection of our Great Lakes and preserve our fisheries.