Monday, August 18, 2008

Week of August 17, 2008

Updated 8/21

Asian longhorned beetle makes it in Massachusetts

Walking the Berkshires Blog, by GreenmanTim

This past week, one of the worst of these pests jumped the fence from outbreaks on Long Island and in New jersey and is now in Central Massachusetts. Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is confirmed in Worcester, Mass. Jennifer Foreman Orth of the Invasive Species Weblog is trying to deal with the outbreak in her day job. These beetles kill maple trees. Other preferred host tree species include Elms, Willows, Ash, Poplar... But sugar maple is the prime species at risk. Blog


Pond at North Carolina state park closed after thousands of fish die

GATESVILLE, N.C. — Tens of thousands of fish have died in a 760-acre pond in a state park, and officials are blaming an invasive aquatic plant species.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports that park superintendent Jay Greenwood said decaying parrot feather likely has depleted oxygen levels in the pond at Merchants Millpond State Park, suffocating about 125,000 bass, bluegill and catfish.

Greenwood says the pond is closed until further notice.

Twin aerators are to be installed in the pond to promote decomposition of the dead fish and restore oxygen levels for the remaining fish. Article


Pepperweed Patrol preventing northward spread of invasive plant

( - Portsmouth, NH - The New Hampshire Coastal Program at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed an innovative program designed to stop the spread of an invasive plant, perennial pepperweed ( Lepidium latifolium ), at the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border.

In the last decade, pepperweed has been found in salt marsh edges, along roadsides, and in drainage ditches in Newburyport, Massachusetts and the islands of Boston Harbor, and is spreading northward. Isolated populations have been located along the New Hampshire coast, but there is no knowledge of the presence of pepperweed in Maine. The goal of the Pepperweed Patrol Program is to prevent the northward encroachment of this non-native plant, limit its current geographic range and to preserve the New England coastal ecosystem.

The Pepperweed Patrol Program is working to prevent massive infestations by mobilizing an early detection-rapid response strategy, finding and removing small populations before they are allowed to grow. This summer, staff and volunteers identified two populations along the New Hampshire coast, one at Odiorne State Park in Rye and one at the Hampton Transfer station in Hampton. Volunteer weed pulls were organized to remove the populations.

Residents of the New Hampshire Seacoast are asked to be on the lookout for the plant. In July, the N.H. Coastal Program held identification trainings to aid locals in recognizing the plant, and has identification guides available.

For more information on this destructive plant, find our fact sheet online at If you would like more information on the Pepperweed Patrol Program or to report a sighting please call the N.H. Coastal Program at 559-1500 or email at

Read complete article

Resident alerts school to poisonous plant at playground

By Karen Dandurant,

GREENLAND, NH — When Sarah Linnehan found a poisonous plant growing in her yard, she went to check out her daughter’s school.

It was there, too. The plant by the playground has been removed from the grounds of Greenland Central School.

"We did have a poisonous plant but we removed it yesterday," said SAU50 Superintendent George Cushing." It was brought to our attention by a resident. Peter Smith (principal) went out and walked the grounds to make sure there were no others. We acted quickly and removed it from the roots."

The plant, a very invasive weed, is called climbing nightshade (Atropa belladonna). A spokesperson for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension confirmed that the plant has the potential to be deadly. Article


Sen. Susan Collins: Attack invasive lake species before they attack us

By Sen. Susan Collins, from an editorial at

Maine's lakes and ponds are under attack. Aquatic invasive species threaten our drinking water systems, recreation, wildlife habitat, lakefront real estate, and fisheries. Plants, such as Eurasian milfoil, are crowding out native species.

Maine was the last of the lower 48 states to be free of this plant, which forms stems reaching up to 20 feet high that cause fouling problems for swimmers and boaters, and degrades water quality by displacing native plants, fish and other aquatic species. There are now at least 28 documented cases of aquatic invasive species infesting Maine's lakes and ponds....

...While I am proud of the actions that Maine and many other states are taking to protect against invasive species, protecting our lakes, streams, and coastlines from invading species cannot be accomplished by individual states alone: a nationwide approach is required. The National Aquatic Invasive Species Act will help our state and states throughout the nation detect, prevent and respond to aquatic invasive species.

Our legislation offers the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to meet this threat. Funded at $150 million per year, it would open numerous new fronts in our war against invasive species. The bill directs the Coast Guard to develop regulations that will end the easy cruise of invasive species into American waters through the ballast water of international ships, and would provide the Coast Guard with $6 million per year to implement these regulations.

The bill also would provide $30 million per year for a grant program to assist state efforts. It would provide additional funds for the Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service to contain and control invasive species.

The best way to stop invading species is to attack them before they attack us. We need an early alert, rapid response system. For the first time, our bill would establish a national monitoring network to detect invaders, while providing $25 million to the Department of the Interior to create a rapid response fund to help states and regions react quickly. Finally, the Levin-Collins bill would provide $30 million annually for research, education, and outreach.

Our ponds, lakes, and coastlines are invaluable to our quality of life and essential to our economy. The National Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2007 offers strong protection that is long overdue. This legislation can help prevent the next wave of invasive species from destroying what is so precious here in Maine and throughout the country. Full Editorial


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