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Invasive Species Resources

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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.

Brown spruce beetle is native to Central Europe and Asia. It has not yet been introduced to the United States but has been established in Nova Scotia, Canada since 1990. It can be spread through the movement of infested wood products. This invasive beetle colonizes and attacks healthy spruce trees.

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.

Japanese beetle
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%.
Red-bellied pacu is native to South American. Individual specimens have been caught since the 1960s, but no reproducing populations have yet become established in the U.S. This species was probably introduced through aquarium releases or fish farm escapes. The environmental impact is unknown.
Red-eared slider is native to the Mississippi River drainage. Throughout its nonindigenous range, this species is introduced primarily through pet releases and escapes since the 1930's. This species may compete with native turtle species, athough despite it's widespread occurrence little is known of the impact on indigenous ecosystems.

Spotted lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly is native to China. It was first detected in 2014 (but appeared to have been present in the U.S. for 2-3 years) and poses a serious economic threat to multiple U.S. industries, including viticulture, fruit trees, ornamentals and timber.

Spotted wing drosophila was first discovered in Hawaii in the 1980's and in the continental U.S. in 2008. It was possibly introduced in fruits imported from Asia. This insect is a pest of unripe berries and stone fruits capable of causing significant economic losses.
USDA. ARS. Tellus.
The spotted lanternfly, first sighted in Pennsylvania, is an invasive pest to the U.S. See this photo essay to learn more about ARS's research efforts.
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced today that a single dead specimen of the invasive pest known as spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was reported and confirmed at a private residence in Boston. As a result, MDAR is urging the public to check for signs of spotted lanternfly adults in any potted plants that they may have received over the holiday season and to report any potential sightings of this pest on MDAR's online reporting form by taking photographs and collecting a specimen if possible. Residents should look for large, gray insects, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings.

PennsylvaniSea Grant College Program.

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s economy, freshwater resources, and native aquatic species. Pennsylvania Sea Grant announces 'there’s an app for that' with the launch of "PA AIS," a new, easy-to-use smart phone application. The "PA AIS" app is now available in the Apple App Store, with an Android version anticipated. The "PA AIS" app can be used in airplane mode or in areas outside of coverage, making it ideal for use in the field. Users can identify AIS and submit a report to the state AIS coordinator, including the location, severity, and photos of the suspected infestation. Illustrations help users learn more about each species to ensure accurate identification in the field. Prevention tips help educate freshwater enthusiasts such as anglers and boaters about the steps they can take to properly clean gear and ensure that AIS are not transported from one water body to another.

Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordregio.

One of the projects supported by the Arctic Co-operation programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers is launching a major campaign to raise public awareness of the threat posed to the Arctic by alien species travelling with tourists and other visitors. Nordregio takes part in the campaign in its capacity as secretariat for the Nordic-Arctic programme. “Are you travelling alone?” asks an animated polar bear in a new campaign video as he examines some clothes, shoes and equipment belonging to the travellers that step off boats and airplanes that bring them to the Arctic. The video is launched together with travel operators, airline companies, travel agencies and tourist offices that have the Arctic as a travel destination, as well as national and regional authorities to make sure it reaches as far as possible – hopefully unlike the alien species it aims to warn against.
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus spreads much more aggressively in pigs than previous research suggests, according to a new study by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. The study, recently published in Scientific Reports, shows that pigs infected with the FMD virus were highly contagious to other pigs just 24 hours after infection—long before showing any clinical signs of infection such as fever and blisters. Foot-and-mouth disease continues to be the most important foreign disease of livestock worldwide, said Jonathan Arzt, lead investigator and veterinary medical officer with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Although the United States has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929, this highly contagious viral disease, which is sometimes fatal, is still considered a serious threat to U.S. agriculture.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Clemson University's Department of Plant Industry (DPI) are inspecting trees in Hollywood, South Carolina following the detection and identification of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). Tree inspectors from APHIS and DPI are surveying trees in the eastern portion of Hollywood around the property where ALB was found. Inspectors will ask for permission from residents to survey trees on private properties before they conduct surveys. Residents who live in the town of Hollywood can help by allowing officials access to their property to inspect trees. Residents can report the insect or tree damage by calling the ALB hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or reporting online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com. South Carolina is the sixth state to detect an Asian longhorned beetle infestation. The beetle has previously been found in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Infestations have been eradicated in New Jersey and Illinois, and eradication efforts continue in New York, Massachusetts and Ohio.

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

Tribal, state and local governments will join forces at Lake Roosevelt this week to combat the spread of northern pike, recently recorded just two dams away from critical Columbia River salmon habitat. “We are at a critical moment in time where northern pike have not spread into salmon habitat,” said Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “If northern pike move downstream, the State of Washington will consider this an environmental emergency. We need to work together to stop northern pike.”

Anglers fishing downstream of the Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams are asked to kill the fish immediately and report sightings to the Washington Invasive Species Council. “We need everyone to find and report invasive species. By being alert and reporting any species that you think might be out of place or a problem, you might be saving us millions in management costs and protecting billions in economic and environmental damages and loss.”

University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has renewed its support for the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a five-year, $4.5 million commitment as the host campus for its six-member consortium of universities, says center co-director professor Richard Palmer. Scientists affiliated with the center provide federal, state and other agencies with region-specific results of targeted research on the effects of climate change on ecosystems, wildlife, water and other resources. The new agreement continues Interior’s original seven-year, $11 million grant to the NE CASC at UMass Amherst that began in 2011. One of the web-based tools created by the NE CASC is the Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management project, which helps invasive species managers through working groups, information-sharing and targeted research.

USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture; University of New Hampshire.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found a dramatic decline of 14 wild bee species that are, among other things, important across the Northeast for the pollination of major local crops like apples, blueberries and cranberries.

“We know that wild bees are greatly at risk and not doing well worldwide,” said Sandra Rehan, assistant professor of biological sciences. “This status assessment of wild bees shines a light on the exact species in decline, beside the well-documented bumble bees. Because these species are major players in crop pollination, it raises concerns about compromising the production of key crops and the food supply in general.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture.

On May 29, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reported the first confirmed sighting of an Asian giant hornet in Washington this year. On May 27, a resident near Custer, Wash. found the dead specimen while walking on a roadway. The resident submitted a photo and report using WSDA's online Hornet Watch Report Form. On May 28, WSDA entomologists concluded that the photo appeared to show an Asian giant hornet. The hornet was detected near the location of a suspected Asian giant hornet bee kill in 2019. WSDA had already planned trapping in the area and will maintain that plan to try to find any colony that may be there. The first find of the year in the United States comes just days after the British Columbian government confirmed their first detection of the year in Canada near Langley, B.C. That specimen was initially reported to authorities on May 15. Asian giant hornet is the world's largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours. Visit agr.wa.gov/hornets to learn more about Asian giant hornets and the state's trapping and eradication project.

USDA. Blog.

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.

 

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) immediately began releasing sterile male flies in Florida’s affected areas as part of an aggressive eradication campaign. By March 2017, the screwworm had been successfully eradicated from Florida.