It has been a wild year with lots of challenges, but MAISRC is still here and working as hard as ever to develop research-based solutions to reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species in Minnesota. MAISRC hopes the research highlights included in the report will surprise, inspire, and give you hope.
Governor Mark Gordon’s Invasive Species Initiative delivered a series of recommendations in its final report that could help Wyoming be a national leader on combating invasive species. The roughly forty-page report addresses a wide array of topics surrounding terrestrial invasive plant species and includes recommendations for the Governor to consider in the coming years. They include developing assessments, improving collaboration with federal partners, and exploring revisions to the funding model for invasive species management in the state.
Citizens with an avid interest in environmental matters will be able to 'sea' their environmental reports using mobile technology. The first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago, the Institute of Marine Affairs' new Integrated Environmental Incident Software Platform and mobile application, called the Lionfish SeaiTT, allows users to report environmental incidents with the touch of a button. The development of this mobile application was part of a 2014 Green Fund project entitled 'Control and Management of the Invasive Lionfish in Trinidad and Tobago' which aimed to raise awareness on the arrival of the marine invasive species, the lionfish, Pterios volitans, to the territorial waters around Trinidad and Tobago, and the imminent threat the species pose to domestic marine ecosystems.
The Maine Department of Agricultural, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) announced finding egg masses of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) on trees in Maine communities and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest. The egg masses were found on trees from Pennsylvania, where SLF is established and planted in Boothbay, Freeport, Northeast Harbor, and Yarmouth. DACF urges anyone who received goods or materials, such as plants, landscaping materials, or outdoor furniture, from a state with a known SLF infestation to carefully check the materials, including any packaging, for signs of SLF. If any life stages of SLF are found, residents should take a photo or collect the specimen and report any pest potential sightings to email@example.com. Residents should look for large, gray insects, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings, or inch-long, rectangular yellowish-brown egg masses covered with a gray waxy coating.
Because no live SLF has been found in Maine, there is currently no evidence that SLF has become established. The DACF Horticulture Program has inspected all the suspect trees and asks the homeowners and landscape companies to keep an eye on the areas where egg masses were found to confirm that no live populations are present. Spotted lanternfly has not previously been found in Maine.
The Bureau of Land Management has released the final programmatic environmental impact statement for fuels reduction and rangeland restoration in the Great Basin. This programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) is intended to further efforts to conserve and restore sagebrush communities within a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.
Sagebrush communities in the Great Basin are a vital part of Western working landscapes and are home to over 350 species of plants and wildlife. Intact sagebrush communities are disappearing within the Great Basin due to increased large and severe wildfires, the spread of invasive annual grasses, and the encroachment of pinyon-juniper. The Great Basin region is losing sagebrush communities faster than they can reestablish naturally. Fuels reduction and rangeland restoration treatments can reduce fire severity, increase sagebrush communities' resistance to invasive annual grasses and improve their ability to recover after wildfires.
Four new publications have been added to the 'Pacific Invasive Battler Series,' and are now available for free download from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), to help Pacific practitioners, environmental managers, government and community members in specific areas of invasive species management.
Developed through the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMSS), the Battler Series is an important resource for those working to restore ecosystems and manage invasive species. It provides tested best practice approaches through step by step guidance, case studies and visual aid for those battling invasive species. The series provides information and case-studies that can assist those working in the field and is written in a user-friendly way. There are now 15 publications in the Pacific Invasive Battler Series, and they are available for download on the Battler Resource Base.
Urban legends about the origins of canal grass in Panama abound, but the Smithsonian has new evidence that puts the question to rest. Canal grass is an invasive weed, native to Asia. Because its tiny seeds blow in the wind, it readily invades clearings and spreads to form impenetrable stands by budding from tillers and rhizomes. Once established, canal grass is challenging to eliminate.
Natural resource managers in British Columbia discovered several adult male and female European green crabs on Haida Gwaii this past July. Alarm bells immediately went off for biologists in Alaska. The archipelago of Haida Gwaii, off the coast of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, is very close to Alaska. The July discovery is the closest confirmed finding of the invasive crustacean since it was first detected in the San Francisco Bay area in 1989.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued the final environmental assessment (EA) for releasing Japanese knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori) to manage Japanese, giant, and bohemian knotweeds (Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and their hybrid, F. x bohemica). After careful analysis, APHIS has determined that releasing Japanese knotweed psyllid within the continental United States is not likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Based on this determination, APHIS will not prepare an environmental impact statement and will begin issuing permits for the release of Japanese knotweed psyllid.
The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was an iconic tree that is now functionally extinct. For a hundred years, researchers from multiple organizations have been working to restore this tree. A free online course – An Introduction to the American Chestnut – is now available. The course covers chestnut taxonomy, silvics, historical importance, ecology, and its demise. A second course in development will cover American chestnut restoration and management.