Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Week of February 1, 2010

Trends in Invasive Alien Species

A publication on the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) indicator, Trends in Invasive Alien Species has for the first time highlighted the status and impact of invasive alien species. The publication “Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses”, looked at 57 countries and found that, on average, there are 50 non-indigenous species per country which have a negative impact on biodiversity.

The Trends in Invasive Alien species indicator, developed by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), forms part of the 2010 BIP indicator suite and falls under the CBD focal area, Threats to Biodiversity. The indicator is comprised of 5 sub-indicators including the newly developed Red List Index (RLI) for impacts of invasive alien species.

View the publication>>

More information on the Trends in Invasive Alien Species indicator>>


Manage pathways to block invasive species.

An excellent article by Dr. Dave Strayer of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies appeared in the Poughkeepsie [NY] Journal on January 31st, entitled: Ecofocus: Manage pathways to block invasive species. This essay is just one in a series from the Cary Institute occurring in the paper every 2 weeks. You may also be interested in checking out the rest of the EcoFocus Archive.

Charles R. O'Neill, Jr.
Sr. Extension Specialist
Cornell University/New York Sea Grant
Director, NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse
Coordinator, Cornell Invasive Species Program


Top 10 Invasive Species

As officials fight to keep the fearsome Asian carp from making its way into the Great Lakes, TIME takes a look at other species that have overstayed their welcome

Asian Carp
By CLAIRE SUDDATH Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2010

They're heeeeerree. Well, maybe. Asian carp DNA — but thankfully, no actual fish — has been found in water samples taken from the Chicago river near a pumping station in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, Ill.

In the 1970s, catfish farmers used these hardy foreign carp to remove algae from their ponds. But over the decades, floods that caused catfish ponds to overflow have released the species into the Mississippi river basin. Asian carp can grow to 4 ft. (1.2 m) in length and weigh over 100 lb. (45 kg), and have a tendency to leap out of the water, injuring fishermen and the occasional newscaster. With no natural predators and a predilection for killing off other marine life by eating all the plankton, the carp have overrun the Mississippi and are swimming towards the Great Lakes, the world's largest freshwater ecosystem. An elaborate system of barriers was constructed in 2002 to keep them contained, but the Wilmette DNA sample indicates that the fish have most likely found away around it. In December 2009 the state of Michigan filed a lawsuit against Illinois, which refuses to close the locks along Chicago's waterways. Despite the threat to the multibillion dollar fishing industry, the Supreme Court ruled against Michigan on Jan. 19. Chicago's waterways will remain open for now.

See all 10 invasive species at Link.


Report warns of new species in Lake George, NY

Staff Report
December 22, 2009

LAKE GEORGE -- A new clam and an invasive plant species were found in Lake George, according to releases from the Lake George Association.

Brittle naiad, an invasive plant, was found this summer growing near a launch at Dunham's Bay Marina, the release said. The plant crowds out native plants and creates conditions adverse to fish and waterfowl.

"We don't know the extent of this plant's growth in the lake yet, but it is a safe bet to say that there probably just isn't one," the release states.

The plant, originally from Europe, is tolerant of cloudy water and can grow to around 5 feet in length.

The European fingernail clam was also found in the lake, in Hague and the area of Snug Harbor Marina, but according to the LGA release, it is not of great concern.

A statement released by the association on Tuesday said the small clam was found in Oct. 2007 and 2008 after also being documented in the Great Lakes, the Hudson River and Lake Champlain.

The release states the clam was likely introduced to Lake George by boats.

"There have not been any harmful impacts documented from this species, so it is termed non-native or exotic, and not invasive," the release states. "But that is not to say that we shouldn't keep our eye on it and keep in mind to always clean our boats so as to avoid transporting anything - native or not - into Lake George."



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