Deceptively delicate and fragile in appearance, the Eurasian watermilfoil forms thick mats in shallow areas of a lake, quickly growing and spreading to block sunlight, killing off native aquatic plants that fish and other underwater species rely on for food and shelter. In North America, the plant threatens the diversity and abundance of native plants as well as the ecological balance of lakes and ponds, which in turn adversely affects recreational opportunities. If left unchecked, invasive watermilfoil will spread through a lake, or even to other lakes by transmission. An expert team of USDA Forest Service divers with invasive species and aquatics expertise is focused on rooting out the plant.
The Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign of the Western Governors’ Association seeks to encourage national, state, and local land managers, private landowners, and non-governmental organizations to enter previously unavailable data into new or existing invasive species data management platforms using recommendations developed by WGA and invasive species data experts.
High-quality information is an essential weapon in the fight against invasive species in the West. Land managers, conservation groups, industry, and private landowners need accurate, current regional invasive species occurrence data. Technological barriers and standardization issues, however, often prevent wide sharing of useful invasive species occurrence data.
See also: LISTEN: Learn the importance of invasive species data to conservation districts in Our West podcast (Feb 17, 2021)
The SCIENCE x webinar series brings together scientists and land management experts from across U.S. Forest Service research stations and beyond to explore the latest science and best practices for addressing large natural resource challenges across the country. These webinars will be primarily management focused, but with applicability for participants from across sectors.
SCIENCE x Invasive Species
When: February 22-26, 2021 - 12:30-1:30 Pacific / 1:30-2:30 Mountain / 2:30-3:30 Central / 3:30-4:30 Eastern
- FEBRUARY 22: Invasive Tree Pests and Pathogens
- FEBRUARY 23: Invasive Tree Diseases
- FEBRUARY 24: Invasive Aquatics
- FEBRUARY 25: Invasive Animals & Animal Pathogens
- FEBRUARY 26: Invasive Plants
National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. Representatives from local, state, federal, and regional organizations discuss legislation, policies, and improvements that can be made to prevent and manage invasive species via webinars.
Part 1 -- Information and Advocacy (Feb 22-26, 2021)
Participate in daily webinars scheduled for 1 pm CST.
Part II— Outreach and Education (May 15-22, 2021)
Partners may host local events to remove invasives and educate elected officials, decision makers, and the public on how they can help to stop the spread of invasive species and protect communities.
Love them or hate them, there's no doubt the European Starling is a wildly successful bird. A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines this non-native species from the inside out. What exactly happened at the genetic level as the starling population exploded from just 80 birds released in New York City's Central Park in 1890, peaking at an estimated 200 million breeding adults spread all across North America? The study appears in the journal Molecular Ecology.
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.
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.
The Washington Invasive Species Council approved an updated statewide strategy to prevent invading plants and animals from taking hold in the state’s forests, waters and farms.
The strategy calls for a broad range of actions focusing on preventing new species from establishing here, educating the public and rapidly deploying when species are found to prevent their spread. The 5-year strategy (2020-2025) is available at Washington Invasive Species Council - Reports.
Anglers and hunters and other boaters who use the state's waterways are being reminded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Fisheries Division of a new regulation that took effect Jan. 1, 2021, requiring all boat drain plugs to be removed before and during trailering of vessels to and from access facilities on lakes, rivers and streams. A similar boat plug regulation was already in place in 21 other states to help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species, and the new AGFC rule was part of an extensive list of regulations recommended by the Fisheries Division and approved by the Commission in 2020, to take effect beginning Jan. 1. Aquatic nuisance species such as silver carp, giant salvinia, zebra mussels and others continue to spread across waterbodies in Arkansas, and the AGFC has as its mission a responsibility to put mechanisms in place to slow the spread.
Pursuant to the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Act), the Department of the Interior (Interior) has released the final Interior-wide invasive species strategic plan. The Act became law on March 12, 2019. Title VII Section 7001 of the Act directs relevant Secretaries to take actions concerning invasive species. This includes the development of a strategic plan (Plan) in coordination with affected eligible States, political subdivisions of eligible States, in consultation with federally recognized Indian tribes, and in accordance with the priorities of Governors of eligible States.
The Plan sets out a vision for effectively managing invasive species through collaborative conservation to protect our nation’s environment and natural and cultural resources; economy and infrastructure; and public health. It both reflects ongoing work by Interior and its partners and leverages opportunities to respond to emerging issues. This Plan will guide Interior’s work on invasive species in the next five years.