Tuesday, March 20, 2007

No Beetle Is An Island

From USDA Newsroom comes this press release about the discovery of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, ALB) on a small island off the coast of New York. The infested maple and birch trees on tiny Prall's Island were found by USDA officials earlier this month during a routine inspection. The press release notes the beetles have likely been there at least one year. Following the discovery, Prall's Island and Staten Island have been added to the quarantine zone that already covers parts of New York and New Jersey, and all trees on the island with signs of ALB damage will be sent to the chippers.

Prall's Island was turned into a bird sanctuary back in the mid-1980s, and has no public access - so how did the beetles get there? As the nice map on this page from Wikipedia shows, the island is sandwiched right between New York and New Jersey, in Staten Island Sound (also known as the Arthur Kill). Now check out this map (pdf) showing the (now outdated) quarantine regions for New York and New Jersey. Prall's Island is off the map past the little bit of Staten Island that can be seen in the bottom left corner. Something tells me there are going to be more discoveries in that area over the next few months (and they're gonna need a bigger map!).

Update: The beetles have now been discovered on Staten Island. Xris at Flatbush Gardener has the details.


Patrick B. said...

Maybe they hitched a ride on some floating garbage.

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

It was just announced that ALB has now been found on Staten Island.

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Likely not a surprise to anyone.