Invasive Species News and Research, June 2020

Phenology tools help invasive species management timing, outreach experts call for a new agreement on invasive species terminology, and much more.

Every month, new species are introduced to our lands and waters, new studies are published, and new methods of control are tested—with impacts varying across the map. It would be nearly impossible to stay on top of every piece of invasive species news.

However, the staff and board of the North American Invasive Species Management Association review headlines each month. This helps us stay on top of trends and further our mission to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. We then share invasive species news most relevant for people who manage terrestrial and aquatic invasive species across the the United States, Canada and occasionally the world.

So, what happened this month?

  • Invasive plant managers and everyday citizens are pressing forward with prevention and detection as they navigate around new Covid restrictions.
  • Phenology maps help forecast when invasive species will be at critical life stages for management in your region.
  • Conversations ranged from the Borderlands’ conservation efforts in peril to the precarious position of National Parks in invasive species.
  • This, and much more. Read on:

Success Stories: Prevention, Eradication and Restoration

The populations in the two cities were the only known ones in Canada. ALHB is a highly destructive wood-boring pest of maples and other hardwood trees, including poplar, birch and willow.

Ontario Invests in Invasive Species Centre

Ontario – Read on News Ontario

The province is investing $850,000 in the Invasive Species Centre to support important ongoing research into prevention, early detection, control and eradication of invasive species across the province.  


Prevention, Outreach and Education

AIS Outreach Staff Gear Up for an Outdoor Season Affected by COVID-19

Wisconsin – Read on Wisconsin Sea Grant blog

AIS outreach specialists hope to use signage to fill some of the gaps left by the absence of inspectors.

Hank Verbais is a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist, and he volunteers as a docent at Tohono Chul Park, a nature preserve on Tucson’s Northwest side.
Photo by Brian F. Powell for Arizona Public Media.

Spring is NOT Cancelled: Backyard Scientists Contribute to “Nature’s Notebook”

Arizona – Read/Listen on Arizona Public Media

The goal is sharing data to understand ongoing changes in the life cycles of plants and animals.

Slow the Spread: National Invasive Species Awareness Week Encourages Outreach and Education

U.S. and Canada – Read on Weed Science and Society of America

“Slowing the spread of invasive and noxious weeds is something land and water managers have been dealing with for decades,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., WSSA executive director of science policy. “If each of us stays informed and commits to taking action, we can focus on prevention and can detect new infestations early to limit their impact.”

New Research

International Team of Scientists Warns of Increasing Threats Posed by Invasive Species

Worldwide – Read on Science Daily

A 2017 analysis of global extinctions revealed that alien species contributed to 25 percent of plant extinctions and 33 percent of terrestrial and freshwater animal extinctions. 

Hawaii’s Invasive Predator Catastrophe

Hawaii – Read on The Revelator

Endangered seabirds can recover, but only if we control feral cats and other non-native predators, new research finds.

What Makes a Good Invasive Species – Genetics or Plasticity? Insights from Impatiens glandulifera

Europe – Read on Botany One

They can change their vegetative traits according to different latitudes.


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Detection, Management and Control

First SC Sighting of Invasive Beetle Reported in Charleston County

South Carolina – Read on The Post and Courier

This is by far the farthest south the beetle is known to reach in the contiguous United States.

Buckthorn Blaster Rocks Brush Clearing

Our PlayCleanGo Store product, the Buckthorn Blaster, gets a rave review.

Pheno Forecast Maps Estimate When Pests and Invasive Species Will Be in Their Vulnerable Stages

United States – Read on National Phenology Network

The USA-NPN Pheno Forecasts can help you determine when insect pests and invasive species will reach life stages critical for monitoring and management in your region.

Least Wanted: Potential Great Lakes Invasive Species are Little Known but Still a Big Problem

Michigan – Read on Great Lakes Now

Parrot feather and yellow floating heart, both on the least-wanted list, are two plant species popular in aquariums and water gardens. And LeSage said they’re bad news for Great Lakes states.

Policy and Rulemaking

Soon We’ll Be Able to Engineer the Wild, Can the Policies Keep Up with the Science?

Worldwide – Read on The Hill

A near-term application could be to control agricultural pest species such as leafhoppers or aphids in order to improve crop yield.

Lawmakers Weigh Methods to Battle Asian ‘Murder Hornets’ Found in US

Washington – Read on The Hill

Initial sightings of the insect were in Washington state, but entomologists have pushed for a more robust system to stop its spread to neighboring states.

Read NAISMA’s position papers here.



Introducing seven terms that are applicable across invasive taxa, understandable, typically interpreted correctly, and useful for describing most situations regarding invasive species.

The Border Wall Threatens Decades of Binational Wildlife Conservation

U.S. and Mexico – Read on High Country News

Binational groups are preserving migratory corridors and restoring degraded areas in the Borderlands. Will the landscape be severed?

National Parks are Being Overrun by Invasive Species

North America – Read on National Geographic

“Half the parks have reported problems with invasive species,” says Jennifer Sieracki, the Park Service’s invasive animals program coordinator. “But we suspect the vast majority of parks are affected.”

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