Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today that the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) was discovered in central Pennsylvania. Until now, the EAB had been confined to five counties on the western edge of the state. The beetle's discovery in Mifflin County means a new quarantine zone for Pennsylvania. No word yet on how or when the beetle was found.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Constant Conference

Some interesting invasive species conferences either happening soon or recently announced:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sadlands

The Nature Conservancy has summarily dismantled what had to be one of the best and most prolific resources for invasive species information on the internet, the Global Invasive Species Team. That means no more newsletters, no new website updates, no support for the palmtop computer-based Weed Information Management System, and, most likely, no new Element Stewardship Abstracts. It also means that several people dedicated to making it just a little easier for everyone to deal with invasive species have lost their jobs. Hopefully the Weed Control Methods Handbook, the voluminous Management Library, Rod Randall's massive weed database, and other tools, housed on UC Davis servers, will remain live for the long term. Read the details here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mother May I?

Mother Jones has an interesting article this month titled "What Invasive Species Are Trying to Tell Us." It covers invasive species from an Australian point of view but also comes full circle with descriptions of the way that the lionfish (Pterois volitans) and other species have become problems from Queensland to the Florida coast. Definitely worth a read.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Smells Like Teen Lamprey

The Globe and Mail is reporting that biologists have developed a synthetic pheromone that attracts female sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) away from males and into traps. The chemical will soon be put to the test in lamprey-infested streams in both Michigan and Canada, and is expected to join lampricides, trapping, and underwater barriers as another tool in the arsenal of those trying to rid the Great Lakes of this invasive species.

For those who want to dig deeper into this research, you can check out the original article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (subscription required at the time of this post). Bonus points to the G&M for using the fish's scientific name.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

These Boots Are Made For Wading

Could this be a first for a major retailer? L.L. Bean has created their new Riverkeeper Wading Boots with a specific goal in mind: make it less likely for aquatic invaders to stick to the boots and travel new locations. They did it by reducing the number of seams on the shoe, using materials that dry quickly and incorporating nonporous materials where they could. The company even includes a little brush that can be used to scrub the boots after you leave the water.

L.L. Bean consulted with a microbiologist who concluded that the boots were less likely than felt-soled boots to pick up and retain those unwanted hitchhikers. Too bad they didn't have their copywriter consult with an invasive species specialist before the catalog went to print - they bungled the spelling of both didymo and milfoil on page 12. But hey, we still get the picture:

(Tip of the virtual hat to the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel for posting about this.)