Monday, July 14, 2008

Week of July 13, 2008

A busy news week...

Walter to lead invasive species effort in Pennsylvania

Ashley Walter, a Purdue University graduate and national standout in invasive species management, has been named Pennsylvania’s new invasive species coordinator, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff.

Walter will work closely with the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council and local, state and federal agencies to develop and implement an effective land and water invasive species management program for the commonwealth. “Invasive species are a major threat to Pennsylvania’s biodiversity and economy, and Ashley Walter is uniquely prepared to address invasive species issues across the commonwealth,” said Wolff.

“With her extensive experience battling invasive species through public outreach and field work, Ashley will be a strong leader in helping to control the movement of invasive species throughout the nation, protecting natural resources, public health and the economy.”

Walter graduated from Purdue University with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in entomology. While a student, Walter was an invited speaker at the U.S. Agriculture Department Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species and Entomological Society of America meeting. Full Article


Declines in some butterflies spark concerns in Connecticut

Written by The Ridgefield Press

Butterfly fans took to the fields June 28 and found lots of Lepidoptera — but not as many as in past years.

And there are signs that some major species, including the popular Monarch, are in decline. The popular Monarch is being threatened both in its winter and summer grounds.

The 14th annual Western Connecticut Fourth of July Butterfly Count visited six locations, starting in Ridgefield and continuing through prime butterfly locales in Redding and Bethel searching out butterflies.

Every summer in a 30-day period bracketing the Fourth of July, lepidopterists around North America count butterflies, both individuals and species. The results are tabulated by The North American Butterfly Association, NABA and contribute a comprehensive, scientific picture on the state of the continent’s fauna.

Trends in populations of butterflies are clarified such as the recent dramatic decline in Monarchs. The count was a bit on the early side of the season. A late wet spring also affected results turning up some species still frequenting meadowlands well past their usual flight times.

This year’s local count led by Victor DeMasi carried on for more than six hours and found more than 252 butterflies representing 25 different species.

That might seem a lot, but it was the second lowest total for the event, which has counted as many as 800 butterflies in its banner year and a little more than 200 in the drought period at the millennium.


Monarch butterflies have been of particular concern in recent counts, as numbers have dropped signficantly. A number of causes seem to be pushing their decline in the Northeast and throughout their range.

“There is ample indication that the migratory Monarch butterfly is going extinct and the loss of this king of our fauna will be an aesthetic loss of depressing proportions as well as a sad comment on our stewardship of the environment,” said Mr. DiMasi.

Each winter all Monarch butterflies migrate south of the border where they hibernate in huge colonies on a few acres of forests in central Mexico.

“Despite effort to save those, forest logging continues destroying the protection of the woodland by exposing the over wintering insects to harsh winter weather,” he said. “Recent years have seen massive die offs after winter storms.”

Migrating north Monarchs are thought to be suffering from bioengineered nectar on crops. “Plants that have been bug proofed to poison pests are not discriminating against desirable butterflies,” Mr. DiMasi said.

Black Swallowwort

Locally Monarchs arrive in spring to find Connecticut meadows being overrun by invasive plants that are crowding out the native fauna.

Black Swallowwort is causing problems for Monarchs, which lay their eggs on the milkweed relative, but which is distasteful to the hungry larvae.

“In western Connecticut, Black Swallowwort has proliferated in the last few decades forming pure stands of tangled suffocating mass,” Mr. DiMasi said. “Native milkweeds are being crowded out of open areas. Monarchs are finding less milkweed food plant for their caterpillars and worse yet, the invader is also a member of the milkweed family although not suitable in taste for Monarch larva.”

Monarchs are confused by this plant and erroneously lay eggs on it. The eggs hatch, but the larvae fail to feed successfully on a food plant that was not meant for them.

This count tallied Monarchs in most locations although in modest numbers — “low numbers for a recently common butterfly but indicating that this beauty is holding on at least for now,” Mr. DiMasi said. Full Article


Didymo found in Vermont's Mad River

ELIZABETHTOWN, Jul 12, 2008 (The Press-Republican - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX)

Didymo, an invasive species also known as 'rock snot,' has been found in the Mad River, a waterway that runs through the heart of Vermont.

A freshwater diatom, or microscopic alga, didymo erupts in noxious "blooms" covering rocky river beds with brown, clumpy growths that feel like wet wool, according to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. It is described as looking similar to a sewage spill with wet toilet paper streaming in the waterway.

According to a press statement, Vermont water-quality scientists confirmed the presence of didymo in the Mad River, the first time the invasive freshwater alga has been found within the Lake Champlain Basin.

Vermont scientist Dr. Leslie Matthews said a citizen spotted the didymo and provided a sample for testing.

Matthews said her investigation found didymo has spread in the Mad River in an area between Riverwatch Lane and just upstream of the bridge leading into Warren Village.

"Didymo is extensively coating the rocks with 75 to 100 percent coverage and up to 1 to 2 centimeters in thickness," Matthews said. "I have not yet investigated other sections of the river but would expect that additional areas of bloom are likely present in the river."

River conservationists are very concerned about the potential for spreading rock snot. "The discovery of didymo in the Mad River is great cause for concern," said Caitrin Noel, watershed coordinator for Friends of the Mad River. "We are working hard to learn all we can about the extent of this, how to address it and will continue to study this in the future." Full Article


Barriers used to control milfoil in Lake Luzerne, New York

By Erin DeMuth Judd,

LAKE LUZERNE — Last year, seasonal and year-round residents of Lake Luzerne came together to do something about a growing problem — Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake Luzerne. The invasive plant has established itself in large beds around the lake, posing a threat to native plants and aquatic recreation like fishing and boating.

In an effort to beat back the weed, and control its spread, the Aquatic Conservation Task Force laid large sheets of plastic called benthic barriers over the milfoil beds. The group, formerly called the Milfoil Pirates, was able to pay for the barriers with money from both the town of Lake Luzerne and the Lake Luzerne Association.

ACT member Mike Schaffer said the mats seem to have effectively smothered milfoil in the areas in which they were placed. They worked so well, in fact, that the group is expanding its efforts and laying down more barriers this summer. Full Article


Lake Musconetcong, New Jersey, weed harvesting to begin

By Michael Daigle,

STANHOPE, NJ — Weed harvesting on Lake Musconetcong should begin by next week, following completion of a search for three endangered plants species, according to the Lake Musconetcong Regional Planning Board.

The state Division of Parks and Forestry approved the weed harvesting on the 326-acre state-owned lake surrounded by Stanhope, Netcong, Roxbury Township and Byram. The harvesting usually begins in May.

The Department of Environmental Protection required the regional planning board to determine if three endangered plant species, identified in a report from the 1950’s as part of a ongoing update of a natural heritage database, were still in the lake.

The local study, conducted in June by Robynn Shannon of Ramapo College, identified two plant species, Robbin’s pondweed and the tuberous white water lily.

In her letter to the board giving the go ahead for the harvesting, Lynn E. Fleming, assistant director for Parks and Forestry, asked that the board “employ methods to ensure that harvesting will not impact (these plant) populations.” She instructed the board to protect the growth areas of the lily, which are generally around the entire shoreline of the lake.

Board Chairman Douglas Zellman said that a concern now is securing use of a roll-off container used to dispose of the weeds. The larger concern, he said, is that the two-month delay is harvesting activity has given the head-start given the weeds, mostly a variety of milfoil, bottom-growing invasive plant that chokes the shallow coves of the lake.

“The DEP required a plant survey of the lake before harvesting could begin,” Zellman said. “Unfortunately, preparing a scope of work and procedure to conduct this survey, contracting with a DEP-certified professional to complete this work and completing the first of three phases of the survey caused us to lose almost two months of harvesting season. The lake became choked with weeds as a result.”

Zellman said the container should arrive by next week and harvesting will begin shortly after. "We believe there is a good faith effort on the part of the state to meet our mutual goal of lake management,” he said. “We have an opportunity to address this issue with the plants in the lake now while we are completing our bathymetric survey of the lake. Having this concern and correction addressed for our future dredging plan will help avoid complications when a method of dredging and funding can be found.”

Fleming said she would like this to use the relationship with the Board as a “pilot” or “model” of state and local cooperation for the protection of a state resource.

Zellman said the lake board is continuing with the second and third phases of the survey and working with Parks and Forestry to design and implement a maintenance plan that can protect the entire ecosystem of Lake Musconetcong, including these special interest plants found in the lake.

Zellman said the lake is 3 to 4 feet deep in the center, and less than 2 feet deep in the weed-choked coves. The shallow water allows sunlight to penetrate to the bottom of the lake promoting weed growth. Sunlight can penetrate to a depth of 10 feet, he said.

The lake regional planning is an all-volunteer board with appointed representatives from Stanhope, Netcong, Roxbury, Byram, Morris and Sussex counties and the state. The board operates its weed-harvesting and lake management program through small grants from each governing body, and with $45,000 awarded to cover the cost of three years of harvesting. Article


Volunteers help control spread of water primrose in Peconic River, New York

By Vera Chinese, The Southampton Press

Charles A. Guthrie scoured the shoreline of Peconic Lake from his canoe on Sunday in search of a species that could potentially take over the entire lake and, if left alone, possibly Peconic River. After nearly 45 minutes of rowing to reach the western end of the lake, Mr. Guthrie, regional fisheries manager for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, finally spotted the telltale yellow flower of the non-native invasive plant called Ludwigia peploides, commonly known as water primrose, and removed it from the water.

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, infestation areas of the plant in this part of Peconic Lake, which borders Riverhead and Brookhaven towns, are now few and far between. That was not the case just two years ago, when sections of the lake could not be accessed via boat due to the dense floating mats created by the South American plant species.

The Peconic Estuary Program, in partnership with other environmentalists from New York State and Suffolk County, held a large-scale cleanup this past weekend to remove the freshwater plant from local wetlands. More than 40 volunteers on Saturday, and about half of that number on Sunday, launched their canoes and kayaks and manually removed the invasive species from Peconic Lake, a body of water that feeds the Peconic River. The best way to effectively remove the hardy species is to pull it out by hand, which is done with little difficulty because of the plants’ shallow roots.

Volunteers pulled an estimated two cubic yards of water primrose over the weekend. Last month, about 35 volunteers removed double that amount from the water, according to organizers. The plants were then loaded onto boats and later placed in a Dumpster located on property owned by the Peconic Lakes Estates Civic Organization. Volunteers have pulled nearly 40 cubic yards of water primrose in a single day during previous cleanups.

The estuary program has been hosting water primrose pulls since the summer of 2006, about three years after the species was first spotted in Peconic Lake. Laura Stephensen, the coordinator of the Peconic Estuary Program for the DEC’s Bureau of Marine Resources, said the program has been such a success that large-scale pulls might not be required next year.

“There’s been a huge improvement,” said Ms. Stephensen of the progress made to clear water primrose from the estuary. “We’ve been able to keep it under control.”

Kathy Schwager, an invasive species plant specialist with the Nature Conservatory, explained that, at one point, the Peconic Lake ecosystem was in danger of being overrun by water primrose. “There were places your could not access,” she said. “We’ve cleared that area and it’s not there anymore.”

Ms. Schwager added that early intervention was the key in controlling the spread of the invasive species. “We caught it at the right time,” she said.

When asked what could possibly happen if the water primrose invasion went untreated in the lake, Peconic Lake Estates Civic Organization President Ernie Fugina offered one possible scenario: “It would look like a meadow.”

Environmentalists speculate that water primrose was introduced into Peconic Lake, also known as Forge Lake, in 2003. Ms. Stephensen explained that water primrose, which blocks sunlight from other aquatic plants and reduces oxygen levels in the water, is destructive to the natural ecosystem of the lake.

Ms. Stephensen said the estuary program organizes about four major pulls, like the one held last weekend, over two weekends each summer. The progress made during these pulls is enough to drastically reduce growth for the remainder of the summer, which is the season that usually provides the best conditions for the perennial plant to thrive.

Water primrose has been found as far east as Grangebel Park in downtown Riverhead. To date, it has not entered the waters of Southampton Town, according to environmentalists. The only other place water primrose has been found on Long Island is in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services, which oversees the Peconic Estuary Program, acquired a $26,000 grant from the DEC and $3,200 from the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership to pay for the Dumpsters and other costs associated with the removal project up until 2009. After that time, the department will have to compile a comprehensive long-term management plan for Peconic Lake and the eradication of water primrose. Earlier this year, department officials secured permission to spend some of the grant money to finance the removal of water chestnuts, another non-native invasive species that has been discovered in Peconic Lake. Full Article


Beetles used to fight purple loosestrife in Maine

( Amy Sinclair, Wells, Maine) - You have probably seen the pretty, purple plant growing in ditches alongside the highways and byways of New England, but looks can be deceiving. Purple loosestrife is an invasive menace -- at least it used to be, until it met its match.

Biologists are farming beetles and releasing them to beat back an invasive plant called purple loosestrife.

This summer, invasive plant technician, David Tibbetts, of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine led the Galerucella beetle rearing and purple loosestrife control project.
Beetles were distributed to 17 conservation partners around refuge lands, including land trusts, conservation commissions, Department of Transportation, and the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Refuge staff worked with the York Soil and Water Conservation District to reach additional partners outside of the refuge service area, including a golf course in Portland, Maine.

Galerucella beetles are host specific, and are only able to complete their entire lifecycle on purple loosestrife plants. These beetles have been used to successfully control purple loosestrife since the USDA approved their use as a biological control agent in 1992.

Over 200 purple loosestrife plants were propagated in plastic containers and inoculated with Galerucella beetles.

All Galerucella beetles were collected locally using aspirators, thus mitigating the cost of buying the beetles from a biological supply source. These locally collected beetles are also already adapted to Maine's environmental conditions and reproduce quite readily in propagation pots. By rearing purple loosestrife in a contained environment with Galerucella beetles, refuge workers were able to produce many more beetles, due to the absence of beetle eating insects and birds. Article and video


Grazing goats will travel slopes of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, TN - A herd of goats has done such a bang-up job cleaning up the kudzu and other invasive plants on Chattanooga's Missionary Ridge that the city wants to turn the critters loose on other tough-to-mow patches.

A public works official says the goats turned out to be more efficient that they originally thought when they first brought them in three years ago.

The city will seek bids from goat contractors later this summer and hopes to have the animals back on Missionary Ridge by October.

The past two years, the contracts ran around $10,000. But this year officials are expecting it to be lower. They're also are talking about expanding the project but haven't said where yet. They hope that with successive years of grazing, the pesky vegetation will be wiped out for good. Article


Governor Deval Patrick (D) of Massachusetts cuts funding for invasives

By Richard Conn, Daily News Staff

Before signing the $28.1 billion budget for Massachusetts this weekend, Governor Daval Patrick used his veto power to either reduce or remove $122.5 million in earmarks for various programs and projects. The governor vetoed $100,000 for invasive weed control along the Charles River. Full Article

There appears to be other invasives items vetoed by Patrick, such as his veto of $25,000 for invasive aquatic weed control in Lincoln. There are several related news stories floating around.


New Hampshire DES uses DAMM underwater vacuum to control Eurasian milfoil

By Ethan Wilensky-Lanford, Concord Monitor

This summer the state Department of Environmental Services has unveiled a new weapon in its battle against the invasive aquatic plant milfoil.

The DAMM - Diver Assisted Milfoil Machine - is a double-pontoon raft the size of a swimming platform. It is the third generation of a gold-sluicing machine that sucks just enough water to collect weed pieces divers pull out of the underwater soil, but not enough to push the raft across the water.

"You basically have an underwater vacuum cleaner," said Mark Richardson of Divemaster's Diver Services, who worked with the department to design and build the system.

The underwater vacuum cleaner has taken three years to perfect. Meanwhile, its adversary - milfoil, a peaceful-enough looking plant so hearty it was once standard goldfish habitat - has grown stronger. It grew into a strong network in Concord's Turkey Pond and has all but taken over Captain's Pond, in Salem. It grew in 63 bodies of water in the state and became especially thick in Meredith, Moultonboro Bay and, perhaps most visibly, Gilford's Smith Bay.

Left untreated, a milfoil infestation can destroy a lake. The plumy plants grow an inch a day in sunlight and are strong enough to have survived through three years in a dried-up pond in Brookfield.

A key problem, according to Jody Connor, the department's top lake expert, is that all the milfoil has to go somewhere. When it decomposes, it uses most or even all of the dissolved oxygen in the water, which can destroy a lake's ecosystem.

The department bought its first suction harvester, as the DAMM rig is technically called, in 2006. That model had two vane pumps that fed into sluiceways originally designed to separate gold from whatever else was sucked up. The milfoil collection retrofit required people on board to hold burlap bags at the end of each sluiceway. To make matters extra tricky, the massive discharge from the pumps rocketed the raft around the water.

The next summer, he and Connor designed a raft 12 to 14 feet long and about 10 feet wide. Instead of using sluiceways to filter out the milfoil, the system used only one pump to shoot water down into a net. That worked, but the raft was too large to easily move. It spent most of last summer in Smith Bay, before a brief stint in Moultonboro.

This year's raft is smaller. The department can pull it onto a standard boat trailer.

Yesterday, two divers prepared to pull the weed out near Gilford's town dock in Glendale. Milfoil needs strong sunlight to grow. In Lake Winnipesaukee, that means it survives in the first 20 feet below the surface.

Scott Ashley and Walter Henderson donned their wetsuits and went underwater. The water between the floats quickly clouded so that their brightly colored tanks and buoyancy compensators could not be seen from the surface.

"This area is too silted up," Henderson said. "We can't work this spot anymore."

With that, he and Ashley flopped onto their backs, hung onto lines and kicked the raft over to another float. There they tied the raft off and got to work.

Megan Cook, a department intern, raked the sopping green mass out of a mesh bag that hung from the raft's floor. In an hour and a half, the crew cleared about 70 gallons of the weed. It came up clumped with fishing line, lures and a freshwater mussel.

The department measures the plant by dry volume in order to chart the invader's movement, growth and, hopefully, decline.

In Smith Cove, divers removed 3,000 gallons of milfoil last summer. Workers have already cleared almost that much from the cove this year, after a push to pull out the weed before heavy Fourth of July boat traffic spread it through the lake.

"It is a lot better," Connor said. "People have called and told me last year was the first time that they could actually see the bottom."

Richardson was the first diver in the state to earn a special weed-control certification. It is important to train divers before they try to pull up milfoil, Connor said, because more harm than good can be done with improper care. Sections of the plant can easily drift away and regrow. The department has certified about 50 people in the past two summers and will have a fourth six-hour class starting Aug. 23.

Richardson has already begun work on the fourth-generation suction harvester, which will be small enough to put in the back of a pickup truck. If his suspicions are right, there should be quite a market for milfoil eradication systems in the years to come. Full Article


Great Lakes invasive species cost U.S. $200M a year, researchers say

CBC News

Invasive species that have reached the Great Lakes in ballast tanks of oceangoing ships may be costing the surrounding region in the U.S. about $200 million a year, American researchers said Wednesday.

The scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wyoming limited their study to the economic impact in eight U.S. states surrounding the Great Lakes, but said Canada has also suffered similar losses economically from invasive species.

The study says 57 of the 84 invasives that became established in the lakes after the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 were transported in ballast water. Among them are zebra mussels and two fast-spreading fish, the Eurasian ruffe and the round goby.

The environmental impact of these species has been well documented. Zebra mussels, for example, consume large amounts of phytoplankton, reducing the food supply for many species of zooplankton, which are important sources of food for smaller fish. The decline of these smaller fish has a negative impact on larger fish further up the food chain, such as adult salmon, trout and walleye.

Likewise, fish like the Eurasian ruffe and the round goby have been able to outcompete smaller fish such as whitefish and yellow perch for food, often displacing these species and again disrupting the populations of salmon, trout and walleye.

Zebra mussels are also known to filter more contaminants out of the water, but animals that consume the mussels are then likely to carry those contaminants with them.

The authors attempted to link these known impacts to economic indicators for sport and commercial fishing, wildlife viewing and use of water for municipal systems and industry.
Sport fisheries were the hardest hit, the study found.

The authors estimate that the annual losses to sport fishing in the eight states bordering the Great Lakes at more than $123 million annually, while commercial fishing losses amounted to just $2 million.

Impacts on commercial fishing were based on the reductions in weight of commercial harvests attributable to invasive species, while sport fishing was measured based on reductions in the number of person-days spent sport fishing. Full Article


Conservation group trying to restore tidal action to Medouie Creek, Nantucket, MA


Common reeds are gradually taking over the south side of Medouie Creek, so its owner, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, is trying to restore tidal flow into this part of the marsh.
At today's Conservation Commission meeting, Nantucket Conservation Foundation Ecologist Karen Beattie is going to pitch the Foundation's plan to clean out a ditch connecting the southern end of the salt marsh of Medouie Creek to Polpis Harbor and install a culvert to allow unrestricted tidal flow.

Beattie, Dr. Sarah Oktay, director of the UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management have been working on this proposal since 2004 and are now finally at the point where Beattie has a plan she can present to the ConCom in hopes of doing the work this fall and winter.

"The situation is that there is a salt marsh impounded by two dike roads that is completely isolated and since then, it has migrated over to a freshwater marsh and the phragmites (reeds) have moved in," said Beattie. "We have been collecting a lot of pretreatment data in there to figure out how we can get some salt water in there."

The natural tidal flow for the northern portion of Medouie Creek lowers and raises its water level twice a day in time with the rest of the harbor, but in the southern part, the tide hardly provides any exchange of seawater at all, said Oktay.

Since 2004, Oktay and Beattie have been collecting data from water level measurement meters called transducers placed all around this salt marsh, which measure how much water flows into and out of the salt marsh on each tide, and what the water level is in this area every 15 minutes.
"It's really restricted in the back parts of Medouie Creek," said Oktay. "In the front part, it has a three-to four-foot tide and at the same time at the back part, the same exchange is about a half an inch and the phragmites have slowly but surely been spreading into the area."

And with minimal daily infusion of fresh salt water, this salt-water marsh, said Beattie, is evolving into a freshwater marsh in which the phragmites or reeds are encroaching on the marsh, gradually closing it in.

For CZM, restoration of salt marshes in the state is vital to their survival, as development in Massachusetts is steadily replacing wetlands.

"Recreating salt marsh habitat in itself is a really beneficial thing to do because so much salt marsh habitat has been lost to the influence of people," said Beattie. "It's really important habitat and there's not much of it left."

Coastal Zone Management is well aware of this, which is why, through its Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Program that accepted the Foundation's project as a high priority, Beattie was able to secure funding for pre-treatment engineering and a feasibility study. When the work begins - Beattie is hoping to get to work late this fall - preformed sections of box concrete culvert three-feet by three-feet square will be placed in the ditch once the Foundation is through cleaning out and re-opening the ditch between the southern part of the salt marsh in Medouie Creek and Polpis Harbor.

In addition to an order of conditions from the Conservation Commission that Beattie is trying for today, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation also needs a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. And last week, Beattie learned that the Foundation's culvert project secured confirmation from the Massachusetts Natural HeritageandEndangered Species Program that it would not negatively impact endangered plant and animal species in the area. Full Article


No New Asian Longhorned Beetle Detections since Last Year’s Control Effort on Prall’s Island, NY

ALBANY, NY (07/16/2008; 1623)(readMedia)-- A recent survey of Prall's Island in New York City has revealed no detections of the Asian longhorned beetle. This is one year following the initial discovery of the invasive exotic insect on the island, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) officials announced today. An Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) infestation was discovered on Prall's Island in March 2007 and an intensive control effort was immediately implemented to prevent the further dispersal of the infestation.

Prall's Island is an 80-acre uninhabited island located between Staten Island and northern New Jersey. Owned by the City of New York, the island is managed by the City's Department of Parks & Recreation (NYCDPR). In March 2007, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) surveyed the island and found many host trees on the island infested with ALB. Later surveys also revealed that some trees along the adjacent shore of Staten Island were also infested. Officials believe the beetle arrived on Prall's Island from a nearby infestation in New Jersey, prior to the discovery and control of that infestation in 2006.

Because of the ecological and economic dangers to Staten Island and the rest of New York State of an unchecked infestation, officials implemented a strategic program to remove target tree species on Prall's Island and the nearby areas of Staten Island to prevent the beetle's spread. Removed trees ranged from saplings to mature specimens, with the average size being approximately four inches in diameter. Full Article

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