Invasive Species News and Research, July 2020

Integrating invasive species data sets, Chinese mystery seeds, python parasite spreading among native snakes, and more.
python in defensive posture

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?

  • New research in integrating invasive species data sets.
  • Alarm sounded over Chinese mystery seeds.
  • Parasite from invasive pythons spreading among native snakes.
  • This, and much more. Read on:

Success Stories: Prevention, Eradication and Restoration

Cargo Ship and Container Discovered With Potentially Dangerous Moths

United States  — Read on Maritime Executive

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, its agriculture specialists discovered the egg mass on the exterior of a shipping container of aluminum billets from India.

Prevention, Outreach and Education

seeds in a clear bag next to a yellow envelope
The Delaware Department of Agriculture is advising residents not to plant unsolicited seeds purportedly sent from China. Photo from Delaware Dept. of Agriculture

28 States Issue Warnings About Residents Receiving Unsolicited Seed Packets from China

North America — Read on NBC News

The unidentified seeds may have the potential to introduce diseases to local plants or could be harmful to livestock.

Volunteers Help Remove Invasive Wild Parsnip

New York — Read on Livingston County News

Volunteers dug in the dirt this month working to remove wild parsnip.
August is the peak time of year to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) as adults emerge from trees. 

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New Research

A Workflow for Standardising and Integrating Alien Species Distribution Data

Global — Read on NeoBiota
In the field of invasion ecology, integrating data represents a major challenge due to the notorious lack of standardisation of terminologies and categorisations, and the application of deviating concepts of biological invasions. Here, Seebens et al introduce the SInAS workflow, short for Standardising and Integrating Alien Species data.

Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?

Canada – Read on Facets Journal

Comparing the ecological effects of an invasive aquatic plant and the herbicide treatments used to control it

Detection, Management and Control

Invasive Hedgehogs and Ferrets Habituate to and Categorize Smells

New Zealand — Read on Ecological Society of America

Understanding predator hunting behavior and strategies is key to protecting vulnerable native species.

Invasive Species of Snail Adversely Affecting Crawfish, Rice Crops in Louisiana

Louisiana — Read on KPLC News

The Apple Snail eats at young rice plants and thrives in moist environments. Farmers say the snails are clogging their crawfish traps, forcing workers to sort through their catches so snails are not sold with the mudbugs.

Python Parasite Spreading Among Florida’s Native Snakes

Florida — Read on Tampa Bay Times

New research out of the University of Florida shows the pythons spread those Raillietiella orientalis parasites to Florida’s native snakes, and now the native snakes are spreading it amongst themselves in places where pythons have never slithered.

python in defensive posture
An invasive Burmese python in a defensive posture. [KODIAK C. HENGSTEBECK | Courtesy of University of Florida]

Policy and Rulemaking

Some Coastal Communities Say Tracking of Invasive Green Crabs Should Shift to Trapping

British Columbia — Watch on CTV News

Locals advocate for greater investment in industrial trapping, which others oppose.

A Big Rat in Congress Helped California Farmers in Their War Against Invasive Species

Washington, D.C. — Read on InsideClimate News

California Rep. Josh Harder needed a way to convince the U.S. House of Representatives to pay attention to his speech about invasive species during a meeting in February. So he brought in a hefty rat carcass and laid it on the table next to him.


Read NAISMA’s position papers here.



Invasion Science and the Global Spread of SARS-CoV-2

Global — Read on Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Collaborations between biomedical researchers and ecologists, heretofore rare, are vital to limiting future outbreaks.

Invasive Alien Species May Soon Cause Dramatic Global Biodiversity Loss

Global — Read on

An increase of 20 to 30 per cent of invasive non-native (alien) species would lead to dramatic future biodiversity loss worldwide. 

Hidden Figures in Ecology and Evolution

United States — Read in Nature Ecology & Evolution

To do the work of justice and equity in ecology and evolution (EE) and beyond, particularly to ensure women of colour are not ignored, we need to adopt attitudes of feminist scientists and scholars who view the world with a more intersectional lens.

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