Invasive Species News and Research, June 2021

Using EDRR, citizen science, and the allure of exotic escargot, people across North America are getting creative about managing invasive species.

The staff and board of the North American Invasive Species Management Association review invasive species 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, Mexico and the world.

Prevention, Outreach and Education

How Do We Know Which Invasive Plant Pests Will Be the Next Big Threats?

North America — Read on Entomology Today

A summary of early warning systems, a valuable service both to government regulators and to members of the plant protection community who would like to stay informed on invasive plant pests.

New Group Hopes to Eradicate Invasive Plants

Washington — Read on The Reflector

To counteract harmful impacts of noxious weeds, Clark Public Utilities formed a new community group called Weed Watchers as part of the Eradication Nation program. Plant experts will help educate locals about identifying native and invasive plants as well as offer a platform for people to report their findings, Mead said.

Invasive Cuban Treefrogs Were Found This Month in Plants Shipped to Oregon

Oregon — Read on KRDV News

Though wildlife officials are not sure if an invasive Cuban treefrog could survive the entire year in Oregon, it could possibly survive the late spring to early fall timeframe in many parts of the state.

man looks at snail on white bucket
Roman snails, or Helix pomatia, are invasive to Canada and edible. Photo by Liam Harrop for the Revelstoke Review.

One Way to Deal with Invasive Snails in Revelstoke is… to Eat Them?

British Columbia — Read on Revelstoke Review

It’s unknown how the creature got to Revelstoke, but the province suspects it could have hitched a ride on imported soil or perhaps was intentionally moved or imported to eat, but escaped and multiplied.

New Research

Are Zebra Mussels Eating or Helping Toxic Algae?

Michigan — Read on Science Daily 

Researchers discovered during a long-term study that zebra mussels can actually increase Microcystis, a type of phytoplankton known as ‘blue-green algae’ or cyanobacteria, that forms harmful floating blooms.

Evolutionary Change in Protective Plant Odors Help Flora Evade Invasive Species Over Time

Global — Read on

“This means that the native plant has a dilemma: if it produces too much odor, it attracts the specialist moth. But if it produces too little, all other herbivorous insect attack the plant,” Vrieling explains. “This is not the case with the invasive ragwort, as the moth is absent in these ranges and generalist herbivores are present. 

Invasive Watermilfoil Plant May Be Linked to Dwindling Salmon Population in Lake Sammamish

Washington — Read on The Snoqualmie Valley Record

The team studied open source and peer-reviewed literature on species that were not native to the continent but had caused crop losses to assess the economic impact on yield, management and the cost of research.

Chinese Privet, an Invasive, May Compose 3 Percent of Arkansas’ Forest Biomass

Arkansas — Read on Magnolia Reporter

In a state with more than 17 million forested acres, that’s no small-scale invasion. A June 30 field day will help attendees learn to identify and efficiently remove invasive plants, including Chinese Privet and others.

Invasive Species Alters Marine Community, Interferes in Post-disaster Recovery

North Carolina — Read on

Clavelina oblonga, an invasive marine fouling species, not only reduces diversity in communities it invades, it also interferes in their recovery following natural disasters—a process known as “succession.”


Detection, Management and Control

Citizen Science Project: Hunt for Honeysuckle Leaf Blight

Kentucky — Watch on YouTube

Join KY Forest Health in looking for signs of honeysuckle leaf blight, a disease of invasive bush honeysuckle, and report your findings on iNaturalist.

Plastic Rafting: the Invasive Species Hitching a Ride on Ocean Litter

Global — Read on The Guardian

Nearly 300 different non-native species caught a lift across the ocean in what can be thought of as a “mass rafting” event.

Saving a Seabird Paradise From Invasive, Acid Spraying Ants

Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge — Read on Medium

After combating yellow crazy ants for nearly a decade, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteers and staff have successfully eradicated the notorious invaders at Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

The relationship between grasses and wildfires is what Falk calls a “5-million-year-old love affair.” In essence, wildfires make it easier for grasses to grow and grasses make it easier for wildfires to spread.

UC Launches WeedCUT, to Manage Invasive Weeds in Wildlands 

California — Read on California Ag Today

Cal-IPC and the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Alliance Grants Program, developed two resources that provide land managers access to the latest information on non-herbicide practices for managing weeds in wildlands.

This funding gives critical support for a diverse array of rare species and habitats on Indian reservations in the Great Plains.


Hickenlooper, Padilla Introduce Bill to Create New, More Accessible Community Parks

United States — Read on

In May, The Trust for Public Land released a groundbreaking new report, Parks and an Equitable Recovery, that details significant inequities in park space and distribution. Across the 100 most populous U.S. cities, residents of neighborhoods where most people identify as Black, Hispanic and Latinx, Indigenous and Native American, or Asian American and Pacific Islander have access to an average of 44 percent less park space per capita than residents of neighborhoods that are predominantly white. 

Reactive and Inconsistent Practices Strengthen Invasive Plants in the US

United States — Read on

One of the best tools that invasive-species managers have are prohibited plant lists, which are compiled and maintained by state and county-level officials to prevent intentional introductions of known invasive and weedy plants. Unfortunately, a lack of overall coordination lends a patchwork quality to efforts to control invasive plants.

This subject on invasive plant listings was discussed at the 2020 NAISMA Annual Conference. Hear more cutting-edge invasive species research and initiatives at this year’s conference.


Why an Invasive Caterpillar is Munching Its Way Through Tree Leaves, in the Largest Outbreak in Decades

Canada and U.S. — Read on The Conversation

L. dispar can be traced back to one man’s failed business venture, in this case, an attempt to launch a North American silk industry more than a century ago. Although it remains limited to a handful of provinces and U.S. states, the invasive species could spread further with global warming.

Invasive Species Can Sometimes Help an Ecosystem

Hawai’i — Read on Scientific American

There is potential that these introduced birds are substituting for the roles of extinct birds by maintaining seed dispersal and pollination for native plants.

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