Invasive Species News and Research, September 2020

Two success stories in eradication and prevention! Plus, governments in both U.S. and Canada offer comment periods on important invasive species policies.

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 the world.

So, what happened this month?

  • Success! Despite challenges such as seeking landowner permission for invasive species management, professional invasive species managers in Hawai’i have uprooted all known instances of pampas grass, and Montana has not detected mussels for yet another year. 
  • Scientists and invasive species managers are working tirelessly to track and reduce invasive species threats, on both coasts as well as inland.
  • Federal governments in both U.S. and Canada have opened public comments for important invasive species policies.
  • These invasive species headlines, new invasive species research, and much more. Read on:

Success Stories: Prevention, Eradication and Restoration

Montana has Weathered Another Summer Boating Season Without Mussels

Montana — Read on Char-Koosta News

The Columbia River Basin is the only river basin in America that hasn’t been infested with mussels but there have been close calls.

Pampas Grass Eradicated from Hawai’i Island, BIISC Reports

Hawaii — Read on Big Island Now

Removal of the plants by BIISC crews took time, as permission from property owners was required for most of the sites, according to a BIISC press release.

Prevention, Outreach and Education

Mark Daluge, NAISMA board member and assistant supervisor of Teton County Weed & Pest, works with Morgan Graham, GIS and wildlife specialist with the Teton County Conservation District. Image by Bradley J. Boner, News & Guide

Slowing the Spread as Cheatgrass Inches Toward New Territory

Wyoming — Read on Jackson Hole News & Guide

Teton County was once thought to be too high and too cold for cheatgrass, but the noxious species has invaded.

Scientists Work to Build a Better Lionfish Trap

Louisiana – Read on The Columbian

One is a lobster trap with an entry too skinny for legal lobsters. The other is wildly different, using a vertical sheet of lattice as a lure.

Our 2020 Invasive Species Conference is Virtual, and We Want You to Be There!

Mark your calendars for October 6-8, 2020. Register today, and you'll get 96+ presentations, a live Q&A at each session, access to recordings available for 1 year, CEUs, and live networking sessions.

New Research

Identifying Marine Invasion Hotspots Using Stacked Species Distribution Models

Canada — Read on ResearchGate

Present-day and future hotspots of invasion risk for marine invertebrates and algae in nearshore habitats of the northwest Atlantic and northeast Pacific using more than 12 years of monitoring data in conjunction with other occurrence data and stacked species distribution models.

Airborne Seeds Pose Potential Risk of Non-Native Plant Invasions

United States – Read on The Science Times

Seeds usually transported by air can be transported to unusually distant places through equally unusual transport methods – like getting sucked into the air intake of a refrigerated shipping container. 

Jumping Worm Effects on Soil

North America – Read on Science News

In a study in the October Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Herrick, soil scientist Gabriel Price-Christenson and colleagues tested samples from soils impacted by jumping worms. They were looking for changes in carbon and nitrogen levels and in soils’ release of carbon dioxide, which is produced by the metabolism of microbes and animals living in the soil. Results showed that the longer the worms had lived in the soils, the more the soils’ basal metabolic rate increased — meaning soils invaded by jumping worms could release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, says Price-Christenson, who is at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Invasive Sea Lampreys in Great Lakes, and the Lake Trout They Prey On, Puzzle Scientists

Michigan — Read on Detroit Free Press

When trout populations are high, researchers expect to see fewer lamprey-wounded fish, and more of those wounds when lamprey populations are spiking.

But that’s not always what scientists are finding.

Detection, Management and Control

Why Nova Scotia Wants to Poison a Lake to Kill off Invasive Species

Nova Scotia — Read on CBC

It’s a last resort to stop the spread of smallmouth bass from a headwater lake that flows into the St. Marys River system, which is home to trout and a surviving Atlantic salmon population.

Several quagga mussels, a disruptive aquatic invasive species, cling to the hull of a watercraft. Image courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Arizona Had Slowed Quagga Mussel Invasion, but a Rise in Boat Sales Could Renew the Threat

Arizona — Read on AZ Central

Recreational watercraft sales have been steadily rising in Arizona over the last eight years, which, according to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, is in keeping with national trends.

Invasive Shrimp-Sucking Parasite Continues Northward Pacific Expansion

West Coast — Read on Science Daily

Researchers have identified an invasive blood-sucking parasite on mud shrimp in the waters of British Columbia’s Calvert Island. The discovery represents the northern-most record of the parasite on the West Coast and is likely an indication of its ability to spread without human transport.

Invasive Pest Threatens Future of North American Ash Trees

North America — Read on The Smithsonian

A new study shows that ash tree populations are not growing fast enough to replace the trees killed by ash borer larvae.


Policy and Rulemaking

10 Days Left to Comment on DOI’s Draft Invasive Species Strategic Plan

United States — Read on the U.S. Department of the Interior

When finalized and implemented, the strategic plan (download PDF) will allow Interior to be a more responsive partner to state and Tribal agency requests for federal assistance to combat invasive species without adding regulations that impede business and our economy.

NAISMA Request for Input

The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) is compiling feedback from its members and subscribers and will send a summary of responses provided in this survey to DOI. Only comments that are respectful and address the Strategic Plan directly will be forwarded to DOI as public comment.

Provide Your Input Here

Government of Canada Launches Public Engagement on First-Ever Aquaculture Act

Canada – Read on

A discussion paper providing background on aquaculture in Canada, rationale for the proposed legislation and an overview of the elements proposed for the new Act, is now available online with key questions to guide feedback to the Government on this important initiative. The public is invited to visit, and will have until January 15, 2021 to participate in this round of consultation.

USDA APHIS Releases 2019 Annual Report

United States – Read on

Plant Protection and Quarantine: Helping U.S. Agriculture Thrive Across the Country and Around the World



A Century of Injurious Wildlife Listing Under the Lacey Act: a History

United States – Read on Management of Biological Invasions

way have transformed the law, sometimes narrowing and sometimes broadening. Here for the first time, the major changes to the injurious wildlife law from 1900 to the current law are compiled to provide a history that is critical to understanding how the nation’s oldest invasive species law has varied in its ability to prevent wildlife invasions.

World Wildlife Fund Releases Living Planet Report

Global – Read on World Wildlife Fund

The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970.

Want more Invasive Species News? Support our work by joining NAISMA.

Get invasive species management news right in your inbox.

Subscribe to NAISMA's free e-newsletter, the Early Detector. We'll share the latest from the NAISMA community and new research and success stories from across North America.

More Articles Like This


NAISMA Members direct the future of invasive species management on a continental scale. Not a member yet? Click to join.

Login to your account