Posts Tagged ‘Invasive Species’

Sunday, October 7, 2018

On The Watch For Porcelain Berry

porcelain berries A total lunar eclipse is likely more common than the swift removal of a novel invasive plant infestation, but fingers are crossed that such a thing happened in St. Lawrence County this summer. The plant eradication, I mean — we all know about the celestial event this past July, the first central lunar eclipse since June 2011. Thanks to the sharp eyes of Dr. Tony Beane, a Professor of Veterinary Science at SUNY Canton who is also an avid naturalist, an exotic vine capable of smothering fields and forests has been eliminated within weeks of its confirmation in the Ogdensburg area. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 24, 2018

As Invasive Waterflea Spreads, Another Confirmed In Champlain

Fishhook waterflea Researchers have confirmed the presence of fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi) in Lake Champlain, bringing the known number of nonnative and aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain to 51.

The discovery increases the likelihood of the invasive’s spread by recreationists into the Adirondack Park, which currently has at least 12 known aquatic invasive species in interior lakes where spiny waterflea has been spreading.

The fishhook waterflea is similar to the spiny waterflea, which was confirmed in Lake Champlain in 2014; they are both small crustaceans that are aggressive predators of zooplankton and are known to foul fishing lines. The Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario were the closest lakes known to host fishhook waterflea. Like the spiny waterflea, the fishhook waterflea likely arrived in Lake Champlain by hitchhiking over land on recreational boats, trailers, or equipment.  » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly In Albany County

Spotted lanternfly by Lawrence BarringerThe New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) have confirmed that spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Albany and Yates counties.

A single adult insect was discovered in a vehicle in the Capital District. In addition, a single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan, Yates County.

Following both reported cases, DEC and DAM began surveys in the area and report that at this time no additional insects have been found. DEC and DAM urge New Yorkers to report potential sightings to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Invasive Species And Their Consequences

Contact with the sap of giant hogweed It seemed like a good idea. Let’s start a silk industry in the United States. Silk is a valuable cloth in demand all over the world. And insects do the work. All we need to do is import some gypsy moths from France; then just sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

So, the moths were imported. They escaped. And today, gypsy moths are a major threat to U.S. forests. Gypsy moths are just one example of an invasive species. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Invasives: A New Tick Species Is Spreading

longhorned tick courtesy wikimedia user CommonsourceYears ago I read an author interview, and although I don’t recall her name, one of the images she raised has stayed with me. It’s not an exact quote, but she said something to the effect that writing ought to feel to an author as if they were water skiing behind their work, not towing it like a barge. In general, I find this to be the case. The hours or days of research which go into an article are hardly exhilarating, but the wave-jumping that comes after shrinking those pages of facts into 800 words makes it worth the effort.

However, when I tried to water-ski behind a brand-new invasive tick that can reproduce without mating, drain the blood out of livestock, and potentially carry ten or more human diseases, including one similar to Ebola, something changed. A few topics whip across the water at high speed. Most at least pull me at a leisurely pace. This one made me drop the whole water skiing idea and swim for my life. Turns out there is a limit to how many miles you can get out of happy imagery. And to how long a writer should be allowed to spend alone in a room with the same metaphor. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Invasives: POOL Owner Citizen Science Program

Asian longhorned beetle The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has encouraged New York pool owners to participate in DEC’s annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during the month of August.

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to look for and find these exotic, invasive beetles before these pests cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Paul Hetzler: More Blissful Ignorance, Please

It’s a rare blessing to have a job I absolutely love, but it’s not all roses. Although some of it is, literally, roses. All too often it is my dubious honor to bring to public awareness a new invasive pest or disease, and history has not always been kind to the bearers of bad news.

There is an old saying that knowledge is power, but there is another one that ignorance is bliss, and some days I’d be happy to trade some alleged power for a little bliss. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lake Champlain’s 2018 State of the Lake Report Issued

lake champlain state of the lake 2018The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released the 2018 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report. The report, produced every three years, provides an assessment of the condition of Lake Champlain. The report also serves to provide the public and resource managers with a better understanding of threats to the lake’s health, as well as opportunities to meet the challenges ahead.

The 2018 report emphasizes the importance of community engagement and recreation opportunities to help stakeholders connect with the Lake, and understand the importance of protecting this resource. The report highlights the success of the LCBP Boat Launch Steward program, in which over ten thousand boaters at public launches each year are  informed about the importance of properly decontaminating their gear before entering the Lake, and when leaving. The report also highlights a lack of change in phosphorus conditions across the Lake, and describes changes in the amount of phosphorus delivered to the lake each year. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Adirondack Watershed Institute Gets $9.3M State Contract

Adirondack Watershed Institute steward conducting a watercraft inspectionThe Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) has been awarded a five-year, $9.3 million contract by New York State to implement the Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program.

The contract calls for the AWI to implement a region-wide watercraft inspection and decontamination program to stop the introduction, spread, and transport of aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and spiny waterflea. Through it, 58 stewards will be funded at dozens of locations across the park. Public-facing efforts are seen as key as recreational watercraft susceptible to spreading invasive species move about the park in the coming months. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Blue Mountain Lake Stewards Get A New Boat

Stewards Tim Leach and Jake Collins with the new boatThe Blue Mountain Lake Island Stewards will have a new boat for the 2018 season thanks to the Blue Mountain Lake Fund. The old boat was notably leaky.

The stewards monitor the state-owned islands and Castle Rock, educating the public in proper, legal and environmentally-sensitive practices. The stewards also monitor the lakes of the Eckford Chain for invasive species as well as educate the public in ways to reduce the spread of invasives. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Campaign Launched

keep invasives outThe Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary by launching a new public awareness campaign focused on the simple steps Adirondack residents and visitors can take to prevent invasive species from spreading into the places they love.

The “Keep Invasive Species Out” campaign is centered around a new logo and a website, KeepInvasiveSpeciesOut.com that provides an overview of the problem and offers simple, preventive solutions for limiting the likelihood of unintentionally spreading an invasive. Tips are given for specific outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, horseback riding, gardening/landscaping, and farming. The site is designed to provide information quickly and easily, and serves as a complement to APIPP’s longstanding website, adkinvasives.com. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Boaters: Help Prevent Spread of Invasives

boat launch courtesy decThe New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Transportation (DOT) and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced that beginning this weekend, boat stewards will be deployed at nearly 200 locations across the state as part of a collaborative program to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

AsRA’s River Steward Begins Field Season

wader wash stationAsRA’s River Steward, Nicole Pionteck, started her field season last weekend at the Ausable River Two-Fly Challenge. She was at the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau with a Wader Wash Station, educating participants on invasive species spread prevention methods and encouraging the anglers to “Check, Clean, and Dry” their equipment before entering the water.

Pionteck’s duties include educating river users on how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, attending local events to educate the public on river ecology and indicators of water quality, monitoring the river and watershed for new invasive species infestations, and maintaining wader wash stations throughout the watershed during fishing season. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Web of Mystery: Euonymus Caterpillars

Ermine SpindleJanet Hayward Burnham, of Bethel, Vermont, was driving to the bank one day when she saw a tree on the side of the road that looked like it was covered in decorative webbing, “cans and cans” of it, as if for Halloween. However, it was June.

Burnham is an illustrator, children’s book author, and writer of sweet (as opposed to sexy) romances and mysteries. She is, in other words, an intellectually curious person and she pulled over for a better look. From the sidewalk, she could see that the whole yard was covered in cottony webbing. Deep inside the webs were yellowish-white caterpillars with black heads. “I’d never seen anything like this in Vermont,” Burnham said. “Clearly, it was infested with something. What were they? Should we be concerned?” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mute Swans: An Adorable Invasive Species

swan by Adelaide TyrolThe big white birds paddling gracefully across a Massachusetts pond last November surprised me. I’d grown up in the town I was visiting and had never seen swans there, although my friend assured me they were resident birds. The only mute swans I’d seen before, years ago, were floating along the River Thames between Eton College and Windsor Castle.

Swans in England have a long history, and the mute swans along the Thames are, by law, the property of the queen. Mute swans on our side of the Atlantic are a more modern phenomenon and have no such protection. In fact, wildlife managers have been working for years to reduce the population of this species in order to protect native habitat and waterfowl. » Continue Reading.