Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week of February 15, 2010

Invasive snail may damage diet of rare Everglades bird

February 4, 2010 by Tom Nordlie

snailKnown as the island apple snail, it could threaten an endangered bird, the Everglades snail kite. The kite normally feeds on native apple snails the size of a golf ball. But in recent years, those snails have declined in historically important kite habitat and the birds have fled.

Many kites now dwell at Central Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga, which is filled with the invasive snails. The mollusks grow larger than a tennis ball and kites have difficulty holding them. Researchers warn that young kites there may be malnourished.

The study was published in the current issue of Biological Conservation.

Read more at link.

Photo by: Tyler Jones/University of Florida/IFAS


Closing the carp highway

NY Times Editorial

The Asian carp, a large and ravenous invasive species, has been making a so-far-unstoppable migration up the Mississippi River. It now has come to within a few miles from the Great Lakes. Unless serious measures are taken — soon — it looks as though the carp will likely break through, using canals that connect the river to Lake Michigan.

To stop the carp, the federal government has announced plans to spend $78.5 million for more waterway monitoring, flood prevention, electric barriers and fish-killing chemicals. It also plans to limit the carp’s access to the Great Lakes by opening the canal locks less often to industrial barges.

The governor of Michigan and other officials in Great Lakes states say the plan does too much to protect Illinois’s barge industry and too little to protect the lakes. They say that the Great Lakes’ ecology — and the $7 billion fishing industry that depends on the lakes — already have been damaged severely by invasive species like mussels. They warn that it could be ravaged by an exploding carp population.

Will the carp make the leap and destroy the Great Lakes? It’s hard to know, but the risk isn’t worth taking.

History shows that it never pays to underestimate the ability of aggressive, opportunistic creatures to outhustle competitors. That’s what Chicago did on its way to becoming a great city — by forcing the Chicago River to reverse its flow, carrying sewage and industrial waste away from its water supply, Lake Michigan, and into the Mississippi, never mind the outrage it caused downstream. And that’s the highway the Asian carps are using to flow the other way.

We hope the federal plan works but sympathize with Michigan’s attorney general, who called it a collection of “half-measures and gimmicks.” The problems and pain that canal closings will pose can be fixed or eased if necessary with Washington’s financial help. If the carp takes over the Great Lakes, that can’t be undone.

Read more at link.


Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop

March 30, 2010
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: 7770 Green Lakes Rd., Fayetteville, NY 13066

Presentations include:

1. Introduction to Aquatic Invasive Species and Oneida Lake Issues. Presented by Ed Mills, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, and former Director of the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point on Oneida Lake.

2. Invasive Aquatic Macro Fauna. Presented by Tom Hughes, Natural Resource Steward Biologist for New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

3. Invasive Micro Fauna. Presented by Geof Eckerlin, a PH.D student at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.

4. Invasive Aquatic Plant Species. Presented by Kate Haggerty and Chase Chaskey from the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

5. Prevention and Management. Presented by Tyler Smith with the Adirondack Park Invasive Species Program.

6. Restoration and Monitoring. Presented by Carl Schwartz with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Cortland, NY.

Registration Fee: $25. Please make checks out to: Sisters of St. Francis.

Lunch is included in price of workshop.

Mail to: Sisters of St. Francis
c/o Sr. Caryn Crook
7770 Green Lakes Road
Fayetteville, NY 13066

Any questions email Sr. Caryn Crook at caryncrook[at]yahoo.com


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