Invasive Species

ramonmercado

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Goats make the invaders butt out.

Each country has its own invasive species and rampant plants with a tendency to grow out of control. In most, the techniques for dealing with them are similar - a mixture of powerful chemicals and diggers. But in the US a new weapon has joined the armoury in recent years - the goat.

In a field just outside Washington, Andy, a tall goat with long, floppy ears, nuzzles up to his owner, Brian Knox.

Standing with Andy are another 70 or so goats, some basking in the low winter sun, and others huddled together around bales of hay.

This is holiday time - a chance for the goats to rest and give birth before they start work again in the spring.

Originally bought to be butchered - goat meat is increasingly popular in the US - these animals had a lucky escape when Knox and his business partner discovered they had hidden skills.

"We got to know the goats well and thought, we can't sell them for meat," he says. "So we started using them around this property on some invasive species. It worked really well, and things grew organically from there."

They are now known as the Eco Goats - a herd much in demand for their ability to clear land of invasive species and other nuisance plants up and down America's East Coast.

Poison ivy, multiflora rose and bittersweet - the goats eat them all with gusto, so Knox now markets their pest-munching services one week at a time from May to November. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30583512
 

ramonmercado

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Tiny populations of invasive species such as Asian carp start their domination of new ecosystems by hanging out at local landmarks, according to a new study published in the journal Theoretical Ecology this week.

Understanding how species use these local hotspots can play a key role in how officials approach population control for conserving endangered species and controlling invasive ones.

"We recently found that only ten Asian carp are needed to establish a population in the Great Lakes," said Kim Cuddington, an ecology professor from the University of Waterloo. "But then we asked, if there are so few individuals initially, how do they find a mate and create an ecological disaster?"

Professor Cuddington's research shows that Asian carp, butterflies and several other species find their mates by congregating at easily identifiable locations such as the area's tallest tree or mountain. This highly efficient mate-finding strategy known as "landmarking" allows species to reproduce even when population densities are impossibly low. ...
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-invasive-species-landmarking-hopeless.html#ms
 

JimELUCIER

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When I see oceans of plastic islands, and garbage dumbs the size of cities themselves, I would have to say yes. If you look closely at all so called Invasive acts upon us by Aliens, such as probing, abduction experiments, we find that it is a direct reflection of how we treat our own planetary species. We probe, tag, implant, dissect, and hybrid everything we can find.
 

Naughty_Felid

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I've probed now and again but not done the other stuff. My wife asked me if I wanted to be probed once, (you can get things from certain shops/websites), but I told her it wasn't my cup of tea.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Technically, that would be an enema.

Nah, some guys like to be serviced by strap-ons. That and bondage/spanking is not for me. But if it floats your boat and does no harm then I'm happy for people who enjoy it.
 

JimELUCIER

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As I am just learning, people here have a strange sense of humour. Haha. Well, Ramonmercad, I really see no difference between species like carp and our own invasive behaviors. Seriously, we have garbage dumps in our cities as big as our cities. Hundreds of billions of tonnes of waste is contributed to the worlds dump yards every day. We do the same things that these carp are said to do. We are the invasive species. There are islands of plastic garbage floating on the seas, and all we can think of doing is blaming nature for the mess we ourselves put ourselves in. And like Carp, we too hang out at popular landmarks, like Starbucks, or Tim Hortons. What I am saying is that there is no difference between the troubles we are seeing with Nature, and our own destructive behaviors, no difference at all.
 

Graylien

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I actually had to google "Tim Hortons". I think the British equivalent would be Greggs? Anyhow, I can tell you who's invading Norwich. Seagulls, that's who! They hang around with the pigeons at the market and dive at me when I'm trying to peacefully eat my chips. I might have to write to the local paper about them.
 

ramonmercado

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I actually had to google "Tim Hortons". I think the British equivalent would be Greggs? Anyhow, I can tell you who's invading Norwich. Seagulls, that's who! They hang around with the pigeons at the market and dive at me when I'm trying to peacefully eat my chips. I might have to write to the local paper about them.

I say we trap the feckers and serve up seagull & chips. Could be a nice little earner.
 

ramonmercado

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Cutting-edge tool helps predict impact of invasive species
Date:
March 19, 2015

Source:
University of Waterloo

Summary:
Researchers have published results of a powerful new tool that could give ecologists new ways of tackling problems posed by deadly invasive species like Asian carp and Zebra mussels.Invasive species cost us more in environmental, economic, and health-care related damages than all other natural disasters combined. Being able to predict how a species 'fits' into an environment -- the so-called species niche -- can help managers prevent, predict, and manage the next big invasion.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150319105319.htm
 

ramonmercado

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Lionfish have overwhelmed ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean over the past three decades, eating or out-competing native species in what has been called the worst marine invasion ever. Now the fish seem to have extended their range to South America.

Researchers reported the first confirmed lionfish in Brazilian waters on 22 April in PLoS ONE1. The piscine pioneer was spotted by a group of recreational divers on 10 May 2014 in a reef off Cabo Frio, a municipality of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil. The divers returned to the site the next day with hand spears, and captured the fish so that scientists could study it.

When the researchers analysed the fish’s DNA, they found that it matched the genetic signature of the Caribbean lionfish population, and not that of specimens from their native Indo-Pacific region. This suggests that the fish may have reached Brazil through natural larval dispersal from the Caribbean, the study’s authors say. ...

http://www.nature.com/news/invasive-lionfish-discovered-in-brazil-1.17414?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews
 

ramonmercado

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For a long time no-one could understand how Aruba's boa constrictors spread across the island so quickly. Then they realised - the snakes could easily travel miles by hiding under car bonnets and hitching a lift.

This might be the Caribbean of tourist dreams, but from where I'm standing, there's not a rum punch or sun lounger in sight. Cacti, dense, sable brown scrub, immense boulders and the odd skittish goat surround me, in this arid landscape that looks like something more akin to Australia's Northern Territory.

The fact that snakes - boa constrictors to be precise - are, according to my guide Robert, absolutely everywhere here in the Arikok National Park in Aruba, only compounds the sense that this is no relaxing beach break in paradise. In fact I'm on a wild island, with an invasive species far more deadly than the slew of cruise ship passengers meandering around the myriad duty-free stores in the capital Oranjestad.

"Somebody, back in the 90s, had some boas as pets," Robert tells me as we continue to walk through the park, the insistent Caribbean sun casting a piercing heat upon us. "They probably couldn't afford to feed them - fully grown boas need live chickens and things like that. So this person just released them. And they seem to just love Aruba - they're thriving here." ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32662173
 

ramonmercado

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Non-native 'space invaders' are transforming the world's precious grassland ecosystems, with new research showing that they do far better than native plant species in the presence of fertiliser and large herbivores like kangaroos, cows and elephants.


Grasslands occur over one third of the world's ice-free land. We rely on them for food, for raising livestock for meat and dairy products, for supporting animal and plant biodiversity, and for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Using data collected from 64 grasslands in 13 different countries around the world, scientists found that plant communities were six times more likely to be dominated by non-natives. And when fertiliser was added to these communities in controlled experiments the non-natives only increased their dominance while native species declined.

Fertilisation of grasslands is a common agricultural practice, and excess nitrogen (a fertiliser) is also deposited from the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel burning.

Professor of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences, Yvonne Buckley, is part of the team that made the discovery just reported in leading international journal Nature Communications.

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-non-native-species-grassland-ecosystems.html
 

ramonmercado

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Fisherman Gary Nichols, who has been finding lionfish in his lobster traps off the Florida Keys for years, has noticed something different this year: Lionfish are eating each other.

“When you bring them up from those depths, lionfish spit out what’s in their stomachs, and I noticed quite a few of them regurgitating other lionfish. I didn’t even have to gut them to see it because they’re still in their mouths,” Nichols says. “They’re pretty incredible eaters so I’m not really surprised.”

Cannibalism may seem like nature’s way of coping with Florida’s growing lionfish invasion, but it is unlikely to offer a cure.

Visually stunning with their maroon and white stripes and long, fanlike fins, lionfish are considered the most destructive exotic species in marine waters off Florida and the Caribbean. They have voracious appetites and consume dozens of organisms in one feeding, drastically reducing other fish populations and altering delicate reef ecosystems.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...species-destructive-fish-cannibalism-florida/
 

ramonmercado

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Fighting an invasive species with an invasive species.

Bee-killing Asian hornets spreading across Europe now face a natural enemy that lures them to destruction - a carnivorous North American plant, French experts say.

The head of a botanical garden in Nantes, western France, says the pitcher plant Sarracenia devours Asian hornets - but not European hornets. Nor does it eat bees or wasps.

Romaric Perrocheau recently found a Sarracenia stem full of dead hornets.

Asian hornets are a menace to beehives.

Mr Perrocheau, quoted by AFP news agency, said Sarracenia had "invented a very selective trap" for the aggressive Asian hornets.

The hornets are apparently attracted by Sarracenia's nectar and pheromones on the plant's tubular leaves. Once the hornet crawls inside the rim at the top it easily slips and plunges into the pitcher, to be digested by the plant's juices.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33847252
 

rynner2

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Invasive caterpillar 'could spread in UK'
By Claire Marshall BBC Environment Correspondent

An invasive caterpillar that feeds on hedges is starting to spread from its established base in London across the UK, experts warn.
The box tree caterpillar is the larval stage of a moth native to the Far East and India.
An infestation can reduce the glossy green leaves of a box hedge to a faded skeleton within a few days of hatching.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says it is now receiving three or four reports of infestations a day.
There have been more than 150 reports already this year, compared with 20 last year, and just three in 2011.
Initially limited to a small area of south west London, there have now been reports of the box tree caterpillar (Diaphania perspectalis) in areas outside the M25 and in Essex.

Dr Hayley Jones, an entomologist with the RHS, said: "The key thing is that it is established - it has survived throughout the winter and is breeding. It has a foot in the door and is now building up in numbers."
The moth first became established in Europe in 2007 and was first reported in the UK in 2008. By the end of 2014 it became apparent that it had established itself in some parts of London.

Experts believe that it originated in China and either flew across the English Channel or stowed away in containers of imported plants.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34054321
 

ramonmercado

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Invasive species caused nearly half of extinctions? It’s hearsay

We often hear that alien species are wiping out many native plants and animals. But the evidence is both scanty and overused

SOME “facts” are just too good to check. You might hope science would be immune from this sort of pitfall, but it seems not.

In much of ecology, it is taken as read that invasive species were a major culprit in recent extinctions. This is widely stated, despite a lack of evidence for it. While doing research for my latest book, I found the claim being passed on in ways reminiscent of Chinese whispers.

The UK government’s Non-native Species Secretariat (NNSS) declares that invasive species have “contributed to 40 per cent of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years“. Its source is the Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 report, published in 2006 by the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

They, in turn, say the stat came from a 2005 paper by Cornell ecologist David Pimentel, who was in turn drawing on a1998 paper by David Wilcove, now at Princeton University.

As is clear from the paper’s title, “Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the US”, Wilcove was not talking about actual extinctions but an extinction threat, and in the context of the US (in fact, his data largely related to Hawaii). Wilcove told me his paper was being misused. Although informed of this, the NNSS has kept the claim on its website.

The claim is absent from the most recent Global Biodiversity Outlook report, issued last year, but has been replaced with: “Species introduced into new environments… have contributed to more than half of the animal extinctions for which the cause is known.”

The report cites a 2005 paper in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, by Miguel Clavero and Emili Garcia-Berthou of the University of Girona, Spain. But that turns out to be just four paragraphs long.

It reports, but gives no details of, an analysis of a quarter of the 680 extinct species in an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) database. The authors told me they had not kept the details of their analysis, nor notes on which species they had included. ...

https://www.newscientist.com/articl...aused-nearly-half-of-extinctions-its-hearsay/
 

ramonmercado

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If Floridians ever want to rid the state of Burmese pythons, tegus and other slithery invaders, they should hope for cold.

A new University of Florida study has confirmed what scientists have long suspected: Temperature, more than habitat, determines where reptiles invade. Using the kind of risk assessment strategy normally used in business, researchers modeled where invasive lizards and geckos were likely to live based on native habits, and then compared that to where they live in Florida. Temperature creates an invisible barrier.

And that means South Florida is likely to remain the nation's hottest spot for invasive species.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/so...f-pythons-and-cold-blooded-cousins/ar-AAedb4w
 

ramonmercado

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Every day, hundreds of different plant species—many of them listed as invasive—are traded online worldwide on auction platforms. This exacerbates the problem of uncontrollable biological invasions.

Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, Chinese windmill palm: three plants, one problem. All are native to continents other than Europe, but were introduced to Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants. At some point they "escaped" into the wild, where they now threaten the native flora.

This phenomenon isn't limited to Switzerland: biological invasions happen on every continent every day. A major driver of this is global trade, which is increasingly shifting to the internet and being conducted on auction platforms like eBay. As a result, one click is all it takes to spread potentially invasive plants from continent to continent - and unintentionally encouraging biological invasions.

Monitoring online auctions

But how much of the global trade in invasive plants is done online? To get an estimate, a group of four researchers at ETH Zurich led by Christoph Kueffer, senior lecturer at the Institute of Integrative Biology, monitored online trade of about two thirds of the world's flora on eBay plus nine other online trading platforms.

http://phys.org/news/2015-10-invasive-blossoming.html
 

ramonmercado

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Alien invaders are the second biggest cause of species extinctions, according to a new study, but not everyone is convinced.

The role invaders play in wiping out native species has long been a bone of contention for conservationists.

The new study looks at the Red List, a catalogue of extinct and threatened species drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). For species that are completely extinct or extinct in the wild, those who draw up the list identify one or more contributing factors.

Tim Blackburn at University College London and his colleagues compiled data from the Red List on 247 species of plant, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal that have disappeared since 1500. They found that invasive species are the second most common threat associated with the losses, behind hunting, fishing or harvesting. For amphibians, mammals and reptiles, invasive species were the number one threat.

Cats, rats and goats
A relatively small number of species are blamed: cats, rats and goats are among the most common offenders, along with microorganisms like the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus and the avian malaria parasite

https://www.newscientist.com/articl...paign=hoot&cmpid=SOC|NSNS|2016-GLOBAL-twitter
 

ramonmercado

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An Oregon city’s experiment to outsource the removal of invasive vegetation to goats has backfired after the hoofed animals went on a damaging rampage.

A 75-strong team of goats were deployed by the city of Salem to gorge themselves on plants such as Armenian blackberry and English ivy that were crowding out native vegetation in the city’s Minto-Brown Island Park.

But the ambitious pilot project, launched last October, hasn’t proved to be the groundbreaking conservation success first imagined, according to a report submitted by Salem’s public works department.

The report states that it cost nearly $21,000 to use the goats to graze a 23-hectare (9-acre) area of the park, which was “more expensive than mowing or using inmate crews” by a considerable margin. There were other problems aside from the cost, however.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/no...-deplete-invasive-species-go-rogue/ar-BBqae8x
 

rynner2

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Invasion of the American lobsters: Sweden asks EU for help
Swedish environment ministry says Maine lobster could wipe out European species with deadly diseases
Associated Press in Stockholm
Friday 18 March 2016 10.56 GMT

Sweden has asked the European Union for help to stop an invasion of American lobsters, saying they could wipe out their European cousins with deadly diseases.
The Swedish environment ministry said more than 30 American lobsters have been found along Sweden’s west coast in recent years.

It said the American lobster, also known as the Maine lobster, “can carry diseases and parasites that could spread to the European lobster and result in extremely high mortality”.
It also said interbreeding among the crustaceans could have “negative genetic effects” and threaten the survival of the European species.
Sweden asked the EU to list the American lobster as a “foreign species”, which would prohibit imports of live American lobsters into the 28-nation bloc.

http://www.theguardian.com/environm...the-american-lobsters-sweden-asks-eu-for-help
 

hunck

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Invasion of the American lobsters: Sweden asks EU for help
Swedish environment ministry says Maine lobster could wipe out European species with deadly diseases
Associated Press in Stockholm
Friday 18 March 2016 10.56 GMT

Sweden has asked the European Union for help to stop an invasion of American lobsters, saying they could wipe out their European cousins with deadly diseases.
The Swedish environment ministry said more than 30 American lobsters have been found along Sweden’s west coast in recent years.

It said the American lobster, also known as the Maine lobster, “can carry diseases and parasites that could spread to the European lobster and result in extremely high mortality”.
It also said interbreeding among the crustaceans could have “negative genetic effects” and threaten the survival of the European species.
Sweden asked the EU to list the American lobster as a “foreign species”, which would prohibit imports of live American lobsters into the 28-nation bloc.

http://www.theguardian.com/environm...the-american-lobsters-sweden-asks-eu-for-help

First we had the American grey squirrel turfing out our plucky but smaller British Reds, recently we've had American Crayfish taking over from our plucky but smaller British ones, now it's American Lobsters threatening our plucky Euro ones.

Bastards.
 
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