Hunting for natural enemies of the red imported fire ant is paying off for Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. Their latest discovery — a new virus found in fire ants from Argentina — has the potential of becoming a biological control agent against the red imported fire ants infesting the U.S.
Michigan's Invasive Species Program.
If your leisure-time plans include boating or fishing in Michigan, recent changes in Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) may affect you. Beginning March 21, watercraft users in the state are required to take steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Also, anyone fishing with live or cut bait or practicing catch-and-release fishing will need to take precautions to limit the movement of invasive species and fish diseases.
New Prevention Topics
USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.
Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs - Many Western states instituted watercraft inspection and decontamination programs after the discovery of invasive mussels in Lake Mead in 2007. This section provides resources on mandated watercraft inspection and decontamination programs, as well as some non-mandated but state-funded watercraft inspection efforts.
Aquatic Invasive Species Decals - Some U.S. states require that boaters purchase an aquatic invasive species decal (sometimes called a stamp, sticker, or permit) before operating watercraft in that state. Many of these regulations were instituted as a response to the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into the Western U.S. Fees from the purchase of these decals are typically used to fund local aquatic invasive species outreach and prevention activities.
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.
Our new Web site for the National Invasive Species Information Center recently launched. We hope you find the new site easier to use and find the invasive species you are looking for.
Please check out highlights of our major changes. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or if you would like to provide feedback.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Wisconsin's recently revised aquatic invasive species (AIS) management plan is now final and available for use by the public after receiving approvals from the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Wisconsin last completed an AIS management plan in 2002. Wisconsin's AIS management plan serves multiple purposes, including maintaining Wisconsin's eligibility for funding and directing the AIS efforts of the DNR and partner groups. The new plan also introduces an invasion pathway management approach that will help Wisconsin systematically limit how invasive species move into and throughout Wisconsin. The plan can be downloaded here (PDF | 3.89 MB).
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the department is launching an effort at nine state parks this summer to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and get boaters involved in invasive species detection. "Boats, motors, and trailers have ideal hiding spots where species may attach, and be transported to new locations," Dunn said. "Boaters must be involved in helping us protect state park waters from invaders, to benefit our environment and avoid very costly measures to treat lakes once these non-native species take hold." Starting this week, DCNR staff will be doing voluntary boat and trailer checks at boat launches on park lakes, handing out informational brochures and demonstrating how to do an inspection.
National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. In 2007, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
See also: Pollinator Week Proclamations Span the United States and Galvanize Citizens (Jul 19, 2019 | PDF 65 KB) -- June 17-23, 2019
ALL 50 state governors (and many mayors), have signed proclamations supporting the observance of National Pollinator Week. In addition, more than 350 events (breaking all previous records) across North America and the world are registered through P2’s Pollinator Week web site.
A major tool in the fight against invasive species is the Report INvasive website, hosted by Purdue College of Agriculture and the Indiana Invasive Species Council. The website includes several ways that people can report invasive species, including a smartphone app from the Great Lakes Early Detection Network. “There are not that many specialists and experts covering the state,” Sadof said. “When there are concerned citizens reporting, however, we have many more eyes and a better chance of detecting and eradicating a harmful species early.”
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) established a Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester, effective immediately. The purpose of the quarantine is to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly to uninfested areas of the Commonwealth. Early detection is vital for the management of any newly introduced plant pest. For more information on Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia, see: Plant Industry Services (scroll to SLF section).
The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Winchester in January 2018. Subsequent surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that the pest has become established in the city of Winchester and spread into Frederick County, just north of Winchester. Prior to the January 2018 detection in Virginia, the only Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) found in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania. Populations are now established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and northern Virginia.
Weed Science Society of America.
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed management techniques need to change in response. But there have been few organized opportunities for farmers to make their voices heard and to share their experiences in managing herbicide-resistant weeds.
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
A map identifying the areas suitable for establishment of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in the United States and other countries has been published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Agricultural Research Service scientists. The SLF, originally from China, has spread to Korea and Japan, and has been found most recently in the United States in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware. These insects are pests of many agricultural crops including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, grapes and hops as well as hardwoods such as oak, walnut and poplar, among others. USDA and State partners have been working to contain SLF populations since 2014. There is the potential for far reaching economic damage if the SLF becomes widely established in the United States.
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Injurious wildlife provision of the Lacey Act provides effective tool to halt the introduction and spread of species that have been identified as imminent and serious threats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took action to help ensure 10 nonnative freshwater fish species and one nonnative freshwater crayfish species do not become established in the United States and damage native wildlife and habitats.
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.
ITP is pleased to announce the release of seven new screening aids for important Coleoptera and Lepidoptera pests. These were designed specifically to be used when examining traps or through visual inspection as part of surveys conducted by state cooperators for the APHIS PPQ Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program. CAPS surveys help officials monitor and gather data about pests on high-risk hosts and commodities, including pests that may have been recently introduced to the United States. The new screening aids are for city longhorn beetle, Agrilus of concern, pinecone and bamboo longhorn beetles, tomato fruit borers, coconut rhinoceros beetles, spruce longhorn beetles, and velvet longhorn beetle. All of ITP's CAPS screening aids can be found on the ITP website and on the CAPS Resource and Collaboration site Screening Aids page.
African swine fever was first identified in Kenya in 1921 and spread among domestic and wild pigs. This disease is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs; one of the most economically devastating diseases of swine. African swine fever has never been found in the U.S. Illegal entry of swine products and byproducts presents the largest potential pathway for the entry of African swine fever virus.
The Asian longhorned tick is native to eastern Asia. It was first detected in New Jersey in 2017. The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick and spread is unknown. It is a potential vector of several human and animal diseases present in the U.S.
Boxwood blight was first discovered in the United Kingdom in 1994; its origin is unknown. Boxwood blight was detected in the U.S. in 2011 and the means of introduction is unknown. It is a fungal disease of boxwood plants, which are widely used as landscape ornamentals.
Golden nematode was first discovered in Long Island, New York in 1941. It was possibly transported on military equipment returning from Europe after World War I. If left uncontrolled, the golden nematode is capable of causing a 100% loss in potato yields.
The Japanese beetle is native to Japan. It was first discovered in 1916 but was probably introduced around 1911. It was introduced possibly in the soil of imported ornamental plants. This beetle is a destructive pest of turf, landscape plants, and crops; adults feed on the foliage and fruits of several hundred species of trees, shrubs, vines, and crops, while larvae feed on the roots of grasses and other plants.
The pale cyst nematode is native to South America. It was first discovered in Idaho in 2006. It is a major pest of potatoes and related crops. Uncontrolled infestations can reduce crop yields by 80%.