Monday, December 3, 2012

Partners of the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO-PRISM) Reports 2012 Accomplishments

(Nov. 2012) Partners of the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO-PRISM) have completed a tremendous season managing harmful invasive species. The SLELO-PRISM is one of eight partnerships across New York State, encompassing the counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oneida, Lewis and Oswego outside of the Adirondack Park who’s mission is to “protect the ecological integrity of the eastern Lake Ontario Basin and Northern New York’s natural & cultural resources from the threat of invasive species....

In 2012 partners of the SLELO-PRISM completed a tremendous amount of work designed to reduce the threat and impacts posed by invasive species. This work also serves to protect rare and endangered species of flora and fauna found within the five county PRISM region. '

Highlights from 2012 include: Significantly reducing the human health threats posed by Giant Hogweed by removing plants from 136 sites. Assisting in the restoration of over 230 acres of freshwater resources by controlling invasive Water Chestnut plants. Partners also helped to restore 50.02 acres of globally rare Alvar habitat in the eastern Lake Ontario coastline. Restoration of 19.52 acres of rare “Fen” habitat. Restoration of 3.6 acres of freshwater dune barrier systems within the Eastern Lake Ontario Coastline.

Restoration of 0.39 acres of wetland habitats and 5.8 acres of important habitats found in wildlife management areas. Other accomplishments include the establishment of an invasive species prevention zone on the core forest at Tug Hill, prevention activities designed to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, numerous education and outreach initiatives and several citizen science events.

According to Program Coordinator Rob Williams, “it is the energy and collaborative nature of our partnership along with support from New York State and the Central and Western Chapter of The Nature Conservancy that makes this work possible – our partners are motivated and engaged and they are the ones that truly make the difference.”

For more information about invasive species or the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, please visit their website at


Invasive Boa Constrictor Thriving on Puerto Rico

(Nov 29, 2012) Non-native boa constrictors, which can exceed 10 feet and 75 pounds, have established a breeding population in Puerto Rico, one that appears to be spreading, according to recent research. This research is the first to document a large constrictor species established in the U.S. or its territories outside of Florida. The established boa constrictor population likely originated with the pet trade.



Invasive seaweed species spotted on Maine coast, poses threat to lobstermen and beachgoers

By Will Graff, The Forecaster

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — An invasive species of seaweed is rapidly moving north and recently was found on the town’s shore by South Portland High School students.

Researchers are concerned the plant will dominate native seaweed and other plants. It also might turn into a nuisance for lobstermen, if it gets caught in their traps, and for beach-goers, who may notice its stench when it washes ashore.

The finding in Cape Elizabeth is the first sighting on a shore in Maine of the red Asian seaweed, Heterosiphonia japonica, although Northeastern University researchers in Boston also documented it during the summer while diving off the coast.

In October, students found the seaweed during a marine biology class where they were tasked with finding 11 different species of seaweed at Crescent Beach. The students returned to the lab with the different sets of seaweed they had gathered and put them under a microscope.

They found that one of the species was dramatically different than the native species and posted their findings through the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Vital Signs program, an online research platform aimed at locating invasive species in Maine.

Their teacher, Susan Richman, has worked on projects with Vital Signs and directed the students to use the program to connect with interested scientists, said Christine Voyer, one of GMRI’s Vital Signs staffers. Matt Bracken, a marine biology professor at Northeastern who is leading the research on the species, took notice of the student’s observation and confirmed their suspicion by posting a comment on their page....

Read more at link.

Photo credit: The Forecaster BDN


Bill to Protect Ohio River Basin from Asian Carp

By Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissionin Hunting and Fishing

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced a bipartisan bill to help prevent the invasion of Asian carp into the Ohio River basin.

Although several federal agencies have been combating Asian carp, none have been designated as the lead agency to coordinate the federal response with state and local partners in the Ohio and Upper Mississippi River basins.

The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act would allow the federal government to build a more effective partnership with state and local entities fighting to end the spread of Asian carp. This bill would place the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of coordinating a new federal multi-agency effort, which would include the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Army Corps of Engineers. This multi-agency effort would include providing technical assistance, best practices, and other support to state and local governments working to stop the spread of the Asian carp.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania’s iconic three rivers – the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio – are vital for both commerce and recreation. The spread of Asian carp in the Ohio River threatens this, and the federal government must act as a cooperative partner with state and local governments to stop this invasive species and protect the Ohio River basin’s ecosystem and economy. The Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act will help do just that, and I urge my colleagues to join us in defending the Ohio River basin against this invasive species,” Sen. Toomey said. ...

Read more at link.

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