Invasive Species News and Research, October 2021

Climate change, invasive species, and development. Crayfish and eDNA. The true cost of mussel management final report.
Eric Larson, left, and Christopher Taylor inspect a captured crayfish.

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

Spotted Lanternfly a “Shocking” Expense to Homeowners.

Pennsylvania – Read on CBS News

A quick read about the potential expense of Spotted Lanternfly infestations for homeowners. And instructions on how to easily catch spotted lanternfly in a bottle.

Invasive Plants are Stealing Water from our Forests

Texas — Read on The Woodlands Township

Although billions of dollars are being spent to battle invasives in the U.S., the report also predicted rapidly increasing negative effects in the future such as loss of soil health as these water thieves drain up to 250% more moisture than our native vegetation.

Eric Larson, left, and Christopher Taylor inspect a captured crayfish.
INHS Curator of Fishes and Crustaceans Chris Taylor Iin read shirt) and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Prof Eric Larson (in stocking cap). Seine for crayfish in Embarras River in Champaign County south of Urbana, Ill. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

New Research

Team Discovers Invasive-Native Crayfish Hybrids in Missouri

Missouri — Read on University of Illinois News Bureau

In a study of crayfish in the Current River in southeastern Missouri, researchers discovered – almost by chance – that the virile crayfish, Faxonius virilis, was interbreeding with a native crayfish, potentially altering the native’s genetics, life history and ecology.

The discovery should come as a warning to those using environmental DNA to look for an invasive species in an area with closely related native species, said Larson, whose laboratory specializes in the use of eDNA.

eDNA Detection of Native and Invasive Crayfish Species Allows for Year-Round Monitoring and Large-Scale Screening of Lotic Systems

Global— Read in Frontiers in Environmental Science

Complementary to traditional survey methods, eDNA sampling has recently emerged as a highly sensitive non-invasive detection method to monitor crayfish populations.

Invaders for Sale: the Ongoing Spread of Invasive Species by the Plant Trade Industry

United States — Read in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

The widespread availability of invasive plants in the U.S. is likely a symptom of disjointed state regulations that fail to protect ecosystems and economies. Regional regulation coupled with outreach to growers and consumers is needed to reduce the ongoing propagation of invasive plants in the U.S.

Risk for Sudden Oak Death in the conterminous United States: results from five spatially referenced models.

Modeling Risk for Sudden Oak Death Nationwide: What are the Effects of Model Choice on Risk Prediction?

North America — Read on ResearchGate

Phytophthora ramorum has the potential to infect many forest types found throughout the United States. Efforts to model the potential habitat for P. ramorum and sudden oak death are important for disease regulation and management. Yet, spatial models using identical data can have differing results. 

Tree-Killing Pests Across the United States Are Increasing the Threats of Climate Change

United States — Read on Nature

First-of-its-kind study finds forest insects and diseases are leading to nearly 50 million more tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year.

Promoting Adaptation and Resilience to Invasive Species and Climate Change

Global – Read on Environmental Conservation Educational Materials

Clear management goals and an understanding of the range of disturbances affecting focal ecosystems are necessary for deciding between managing for resistance, resilience, or transformation and what actions are required for successful management outcomes.

Detection, Management and Control

Invasive Wild Pigs in National Park for First Time at Alberta’s Elk Island

Alberta — Read on MSN/The Canadian Press

One of the most destructive and rapidly spreading invasive species on the continent has been found for the first time in a Canadian national park. 

Read about transboundary cooperation — including the Squeal on Pigs! campaign — discussed at last month’s annual conference

Giant Snails That Were Eating Florida Homes Finally Eradicated … Again

Florida — Read on Live Science

The effort cost $24 million and required 10 years of work, The Miami Herald reported

This Man Documented 5,000 Trees Being Killed By Vines In Takoma Park

In all, Buff counted nearly 5,000 trees affected by invasive vines. That’s not counting trees with just a few tendrils creeping up the trunk: the trees he counted as “affected” are so threatened, they’re likely to be killed by vines within the next 5-7 years.
infographic by the Bureau of Reclamation illustrating the cost of invasive mussel management to western states
Above, an infographic by the Bureau of Reclamation illustrates the cost of invasive mussel management to western states.


Final Report: Costs Associated with Invasive Mussels Impacts and Management

United States — Read on Bureau of Reclamation

This study provides evidence that mussels management strategies provide considerable value to the nation.

Garamendi, Amodei Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

Washington, D.C. — Read on John Garamendi press page

NAISMA has taken a position to support this bipartisan legislation that would authorize federal land management agencies to take proven, commonsense measures to prevent the proliferation of invasive species in our nation’s waterways, lakes, reservoirs, and aqueducts.

The Unsung Success of Injurious Wildlife Listing Under the Lacey Act

United States — Read on Management of Biological Invasions

Previous papers discussing the effectiveness of injurious wildlife listings under 18 U.S.C. 42(a) of the Lacey Act have emphasized failures while ignoring the many successes. We looked at the 120-year history of injurious listing and then determined the effectiveness of the listings since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) gained the listing authority in 1940.

see below for upcoming NAISMA webinar featuring one of the author’s of this paper:

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Webinar: Injurious Wildlife Listing under the “Lacey Act”

January 19, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm CST

History and Effectiveness of Injurious Wildlife Listing under the “Lacey Act”

Presented by: Susan Jewell, Injurious Wildlife Listing Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Capitol

As part of the original federal law known as the “Lacey Act” passed in 1900, injurious wildlife has been amended several times, but the purpose has always been to protect the United States from the introduction of invasive and otherwise harmful wildlife. Congress first gave the authority for overseeing injurious wildlife to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and later to the Department of the Interior. Injurious listing prohibits the importation of wild vertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks that can cause harm to wildlife resources, humans, and other U.S. interests. However, most people know about a different provision of the “Lacey Act,” which is about trafficking of wildlife and plants. This presentation will explain what the “Lacey Act” is and the difference between the injurious and trafficking provisions. It will emphasize how the service focuses on adding high-risk species to the federal injurious list before they become established and how effective that has been in preventing the establishment of those injurious animals.

Susan Jewell

Su Jewell portrait photo in front of brick wall and art

Susan (Su) Jewell is the Injurious Wildlife Listing Coordinator for the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based in the headquarters in northern Virginia. In her capacity, she coordinates the regulatory listing of harmful wildlife species as injurious, which prohibits their importation. She is an authority on the history of injurious of injurious wildlife listing and recently published a summary of the history since 1900 and her evaluation of how effective injurious listing is. Prior to her 11 years working with invasive wildlife, she spent 11 years with the Service’s Endangered Species program, 12 years in the Everglades studying Everglades health, alligators, wading birds, and fisheries. Su holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Systematics and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut.

There are continuing education credits available for purchase for this webinar from Certified Crop Advisers, International Society of Arboriculture, Society of American Foresters, Society of Ecological Restoration, and The Wildlife Society.


Elizabeth Brown, Director of Government Relations and Professional Development


Where have Gainesville’s Native Green Anoles Gone?

Florida — Read on The Gainesville Sun

Researcher Jesse Borden found that in the presence of brown anoles, the green natives moved about 17 times higher in trees, or about 8.3 meters in median perch height, to coexist. But the shift did not allow the lizards to overcome their habitat loss from human development. 

Invasive Species Increasingly Threaten Protected Areas Worldwide

Global — Read on Duke Nicholas School of the Environment

A new international study suggests that invasive species, such as the cordgrass that is swamping native plants in the Red Marshes, pose a much greater threat to protected areas, even well managed ones, than was previously recognized.

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