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Old August 8th, 2008 #1
Alex Linder
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[This thread is for documenting animal parallels to the humanoid invasion of the White West by mudmen. Notice that animal invasions may be frankly described, in nature and consequences. Not so when it comes to humans, though the results are far direr.]

Brown Tree Snake Could Mean Guam Will Lose More Than Its Birds

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2008) — In the last 60 years, brown tree snakes have become the embodiment of the bad things that can happen when invasive species are introduced in places where they have few predators. Unchecked for many years, the snakes caused the extinction of nearly every native bird species on the Pacific island of Guam.

A variety of other damage has been directly attributed to brown tree snakes, including large population losses among other native animal species in Guam's forests, attacks on children and pets, and electrical power outages.

But new research by University of Washington biologists suggests that indirect impacts might be even farther reaching, possibly changing tree distributions and reducing native tree populations, altering already damaged ecosystems even further.

"The brown tree snake has often been used as a textbook example for the negative impacts of invasive species, but after the loss of birds no one has looked at the snake's indirect effects," said Haldre Rogers, a UW doctoral student in biology.

"It has been 25 years since the birds disappeared. It seems to me the consequences are going to keep reverberating throughout the community if birds are fundamental components of the forest," she said.

Birds typically make up a small part of the life of a forest, but they are important for pollination, spreading seeds around the forest and controlling insects that feed on plants. Guam, an island 30 miles long and 5 to 15 miles wide about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, lost most of its native birds after the brown tree snake was introduced by accident from the Admiralty Islands following World War II. The snake has few predators on Guam, so its population density is quite high – estimated at more than 3,000 per square mile – and some individuals there grow to an unusual size of 10 feet long.

Before introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam had 12 species of native forest birds. Today 10 of those are extinct on Guam, and the other two species have fewer than 200 individuals. Though Guam has some non-native bird populations, few other birds moved in when native species died out, and none of them live in the forest. That leaves few birds to consume tree seeds and then drop them away from the trees.

That could have two possible negative impacts on the native forests, Rogers said. First, some plant species need birds to handle their seeds to ensure effective germination. In addition, seed predators and fungi that kill seeds are often found in high density directly beneath a parent tree, so the trees rely on birds to disperse seeds beyond the range of those negative effects. If native birds performed those functions on Guam, tree populations could suffer from the loss of birds. It appears 60 percent to 70 percent of tree species in the native forests are dispersed, at least in part, by birds, she said.

To test the effects of the loss of native birds on seed distribution, Rogers devised seed traps that look a bit like satellite dish receivers, with tubing bent into a circular shape and covered with fine mesh screen-door netting. She set 119 traps beneath and near Premna obtusifolia, or false elder, trees on Guam and the nearby island of Saipan, which does not have brown tree snakes. For each tree sampled, she set two traps directly beneath the tree's canopy, two about 3 feet away, three at 16 feet, three at 33 feet and seven at 65 feet.

On Saipan, Rogers and her colleagues found seeds in nearly every trap at each distance, though more seeds were found in closer traps and fewer farther away. However, on Guam the seeds appeared only in traps directly beneath the canopy. What's more, most of the farther-dispersed seeds from traps on Saipan had the seed coats removed, a factor that could speed seedling germination and the growth of new trees and something that likely could only be accomplished in the gut of a bird. None of the seeds found on Guam had seed coats removed.

In addition, the scientists randomly selected points in native forests on Guam, Saipan and two other nearby islands, Tinian and Rota, searching for seedlings of a tree called Aglaia mariannensis and each seedling's most likely parent, the closest adult of that species. On Guam all seedlings were found within 16 feet of the nearest adult tree, most within 6 feet. On the other islands the nearest adult trees were found two to three times farther away from the seedlings.

"These findings could have global implications, since forests in areas that have had a decline in bird populations instead of outright extinction might show effects similar to those in the forests of Guam," Rogers said.

She notes that recent studies show bird populations are declining worldwide, and that as many as 25 percent of U.S. species face the threat of extinction.

Rogers presents her data August 8 at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Milwaukee. Co-authors are Joshua Tewksbury and Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, both UW assistant professors of biology.

Further research, Rogers believes, could turn up other indirect impacts the brown tree snake has had on Guam. For example, she notes anecdotal evidence that there is a substantially higher spider population on Guam than on other nearby islands, and she speculates that could largely be because the native bird population has been decimated.

But the biggest indirect impact, she said, could be altered seed scattering that in turn might, in the near future, transform the remaining forest from a diverse mixture of tree species to clumps of trees of the same species, separated by open space. That could have serious consequences, including extinction, for plant and animal species that still live in the forests.

"It seems logical that if there are no birds then seeds are not able to get away from their parent trees, and that is exactly what our research shows," Rogers said. "The magnitude of difference between seed dispersal on Guam and Saipan is alarming because of its implications for Guam's forests, and for forests worldwide experiencing a decline or complete loss of birds."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0808090313.htm
 
Old August 8th, 2008 #2
Alex Linder
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Feb. 27, 2008

Texas tries to control invasion of exotic snakes
Non-native species can do lots of damage to environment


[Like Mexicans?]

By SHANNON TOMPKINS

Texas, like the rest of the nation, continues losing ground in its war against non-native, invasive species.

This month, giant salvinia, one of the most destructive and persistent of alien aquatic plants, was documented for the first time in three more Texas lakes — Rayburn, Palestine and Brandy Branch.

Discovered in Texas in a single small pond in Houston only a decade ago, salvinia has spread to dozens of public and private waters across the eastern third of the state.

[For "giant salvinia" substitute "stubby mexcrementia" and see how honest reporting about people stuff would read]

Able to grow so quickly and densely that it smothers the life from the water it covers and seemingly impossible to eradicate, giant salvinia is just one of the most recent invaders to inflict severe damage on Texas' ecosystems and the plants and animals that depend upon them.

The list of non-native species that have found their way into Texas, thrived and wrecked havoc on our natural resources and wallets is soberingly long.

Fire ants. Feral hogs. Chinese tallow. McCartney rose. Water hyacinth. Salt cedar. Hydrilla. Grass carp. Nutria. [Mexicans.] Formosan termites. Those are some of the big ones.

How much environmental and economic damage do alien-invasive species do in this country?

About $120 billion a year, according to a 2004 study by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. That's three times as much as ExxonMobil's $40 billion in profits this past year. It's seven times more than Microsoft's annual profits. It's a lot of money.

In Texas, fire ants' annual damage to wildlife, livestock and public health is estimated at $300 million. Experts estimate damage to Texas agriculture by feral hogs at $52 million a year.

But the most sobering destruction caused by invasive species is the damage done to the wildlife, fisheries and ecosystems they invade.

Fire ants are directly responsible for the staggering decline in Texas' horned-lizard numbers, the near vanishing of some native ant species and certainly a factor in the decline of some other wildlife.

Invasive plants such as phragmites and salvinia and Chinese tallow take over landscapes and waters, shoving out native plants, corrupting whole ecosystems and dooming many species of native plants and animals.

In Texas, salt cedar sucks so much water that, often, adjacent springs and creeks stop flowing or the waterways' salinity increases so much it is uninhabitable by native species.

The negative impact of non-native species on native plants, animals and fish is as pervasive as it is hard to exaggerate. Competition, predation or other impacts of invasive species are considered the primary risk factors facing about 400 of the approximately 1,000 species listed as threatened or endangered under this country's Endangered Species Act, according to a 1998 study.

[It is no different with people. They fight for space just the same. The media are one of the tools they fight with. Humans use media to fight for mindspace the way water weeds and fire ants battle for water and ground space.]

Faced with the onslaught of invasive species and spending billions fighting them, state and federal governments have begun trying to address the root causes of the problem — humans transporting and introducing non-native species.

Texas has imposed a prohibition on possessing dozens of non-native species of plants, fish, animals — a list that grows longer each year.

It's now a misdemeanor criminal violation in Texas for people to not remove from their boat trailers any non-native vegetation such as hydrilla, hyacinth and salvinia.

And beginning April 1, any person in Texas possessing or offering for sale any venomous snake not native to Texas or any of five species of non-native constrictors will have to obtain a permit from the state.

Acting on a mandate from the 2007 session of the Legislature, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission this past month adopted rules creating a "controlled exotic snake permit."

Under terms of the regulations, any person possessing or transporting a venomous snake not native to Texas, a green anaconda, or any of four species of python (African rock, Asiatic rock, reticulated, southern African) must buy an annual permit from TPWD.

Private owners of the regulated species will be required to annually purchase a $20 "recreational controlled exotic snake " permit.

Businesses selling snake species covered under the regulations would be required to hold a $60 annual "commercial exotic snake permit."

Penalties for not complying with the permit rules would be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $25-$500, said Major David Sinclair of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's law enforcement division.

Texas hopes to avoid — or at least defer — seeing the problems Florida currently faces with its exploding "feral" population of large, non-native snakes.

Over the past decade, released or escaped pythons have established breeding populations in southern Florida.

Just in Everglades National Park, more than 400 Burmese (Asiatic) pythons, some 13-15 feet long, have been found and removed.

Florida makes owners of the large, non-native snakes pay a hefty price for the potentially damaging reptiles and has imposed a method of trying to track and punish owners of escaped or released big snakes.

As in Texas, anyone in Florida convicted of releasing one of the non-native snakes faces a heavy fine.

Sadly, the natural world is paying a much higher price from such irresponsible acts.

[email protected]

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/5576910.html
 
Old December 12th, 2008 #3
Alex Linder
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Gambian pouched rats. They weigh 3-7 pounds and are living freely in the keys in Florida. They carry monkey pox. They are from Central/West Africa, and the nogs eat them over there.



Apparently eight of these were released in Grassy Key, and now there are...hundreds. They not only spread monkeypox, they eat huge amounts of fruit and vegetables and keep niggers as pets.

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Old December 12th, 2008 #4
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Old December 12th, 2008 #5
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The Giant Rats are in the News again.

GIANT AFRICAN GAMBIAN POUCH RATS - BANE OR BOONE?

Here in the Florida Keys, as with much of South Florida, we are always dealing with invasive exotics from the Brazilian-pepper tree to iguanas to batfish. Now we have another to add to this list. The African Gambian pouch rat.

This cute invader, which can get up to 9 pounds has made Grassy Key its home. Some biologists and conservationists in the Keys insist it must be eradicated before it increases its range and begins to cause problems for native species living in the Florida Keys. Although nobody is sure how or why the rat was released on Grassy Key, biologists are saying the animal could be devastating to the Florida Keys' ecological system.

These omnivores eat almost everything and could compete for food with endangered species such as the silver rice rat and the endangered wood rat. They might also carry diseases and could be eating bird eggs. A greater threat, some say, is if the pouch rat makes it to Key Largo. It would not be difficult for it to then reach the Florida Everglades. "There's no telling what would happen if they made it to the mainland," biologist Randy Grau said.

Grau, a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is an advocate for stopping them on Grassy Key. Grau believes it could be difficult for the rats to make it across the long bridges to Key Largo and Big Pine Key. "But they could get in the back of a truck and make it that way," he said. It is believed Grassy Key is the first documented breeding population of African Gambian Pouch Rats in the United States. So far, nobody has stepped forward to eradicate the rat. Government agencies, well you know. Chris Bergh, chairman of the Florida Keys Invasive Exotic Task Force, said the exotic rats could harm rare and protected species. Yea, well so can (do) all the feral cats . The rats get their names because they have pouches in their cheeks would eat a variety of plant materal. "If the rats eat the fruit, it could prevent plants from spreading as they should," Bergh said. What he forgets to add is they might also spread seeds that are not getting spread in the same manner now. Another fear is that since the rats are so big they may not have any natural predators. Well the expansion of the endangered saltwater crocodile needs more prey.

Neil Perry, who is writing a thesis for his Texas A&M master's degree while studying in the Keys, said the rats are probably too big for birds of prey to eat. Maybe the truth will be that there will be an increase in native preditors due to an increase in viable prey. Another thought, natives such as the previously mentioned crocks and bald eagles and redtailed hawks might have a larger presence with the added food available. Perry is studying the population of the silver rice rat and the Lower Keys marsh rabbit in the Keys. He admits that feral cats, which are predators of the endangered species Perry is studying, don't mess with the Gambian pouch rat. Imagine what would happen if they actually helped some natives survive.

Connie Faast, who lives on Grassy Key, had the giant rats living under her house. One night, she said, she heard loud screeches in the street. The rats were fighting. "Two cats were on the side of the road just watching the rats," Faast said. The male pouch rats are aggressive when they encounter one another. I wonder if they are as loud and do as much damage as 2 tom cats fighting under your window. These rats are well known in the pet industry and have a reputation as being very friendly, intelligent and do well in a domestic situation.

Rumor has it that eight pet rats were released five years ago, one male and seven females. The rats can have up to four litters every nine months, with up to six offspring in litters. There is no telling how many of the rats are living on Grassy Key now. One resident states recently she has not see as many of the big rats. Faast also said she has not seen as many rats recently, but she knows they are still there. "Ever since we started trapping under my house, they haven't been back," Faast said. She thinks the rats are too smart to go to a place where they were previously trapped.

THE GOOD.

The animals have a sense of smell so uncanny that they have been studied for use in detecting tuberculosis and in sniffing out land mines. From 2003: "The first batch of 12 rats trained to detect land mines are now at work in neighboring Mozambique and so far have sniffed out 20." Today these plucky creatures are helping clear Mozambique of land mines from its civil war. Dogs have been trained as land-mine sniffers, but if they step on the mine, no more dog; three-pound Gambian pouched rats are too light cause detonation. Male African Gambian Pouch Rat Sniffing for ExplosivesThese rats have exceptionally powerful noses, being able to sense the slightest trace of the nitro compounds in explosives. And while dogs will sniff for mines for a while and then get bored and want to frolic, Gambian giant pouched rats possess noble clarity of purpose: So long as they are given a chunk of banana for each mine found they will tirelessly, single-mindedly spend every waking hour searching for another.

Dec 15, 03: The giant pouched rats that have been trained to sniff out land mines in Africa are now learning to detect tuberculosis bacteria in human saliva with the help of a grant from the World Bank. The World Health Organization estimates that deaths from tuberculosis will rise from 2 million this year to 8 million by 2015.

The rat can sniff 120-150 human saliva samples in lab dishes in 30 minutes compared to the day's work it takes for a human technician to analyze 20 samples. The rat stops in front of samples that smell like TB and waits to be rewarded but walks past samples where TB is not present.

THE BAD.

When an outbreak of monkeypox, linked to pet prairie dogs and Gambian pouched rats, was confirmed in June 2003, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Human Health and Safety (HSS) issued a joint order that banned the import of several African rodents and also the transport, sale or release of pet prairie dogs. At the time, it was clear that although the outbreak was quite mild, it was potentially serious enough that the exotic pet trade was going to come under close scrutiny. Since there has not been any local outbreaks it can be assumed this population is free of the disease.

THE CUTE.

Scientific name - Cricetomys gambianus What is an African Gambian Pouch Rat? African Gambian Pouch rats, also known as the African giant pouch rat, resembles a hamster in having a storage pouch inside of each cheek. When the pouches are full it gives the pouch rat an absolutely adorable, yet comical face.

Their body colour ranges from shades of gray to brown, the belly being considerably paler and their feet are almost white. There are some pouch rats turning up spotted with white or with a white stripe running across their shoulders, but these are still very rare. The pouch rats have large ears (which lends to their comical appearance) that are covered in very fine hairs, giving them an almost hairless appearance. The first two thirds of the tail is dark gray with the final third (to the tip) is white to off white and covered with the same fine hairs as the ears.

The pouch rats homeland ranges from Senegal to Central Sudan and down to South Africa. These rats dwell in the forest and thickets. For shelter they often use natural crevices and holes, termite mounds, or hollow trees but when need be they can dig their own burrows. In the wild pouch rats are generally nocturnal, but do forage during the day. When they forage during the day they behave almost blind, relying heavily on their keen noses and hearing to get around. In captivity they readily become used to their owners routine.

POUCH RATS AS PETS: Generally they are solitary and shy in the wild making them naturally non-aggressive on open ground, but they can be very protective of their den. In captivity they are very intelligent and have the ability to bond/show deep affection to their human companions. However do take into considerations that they are not a domestic animal, they are a captive bred exotic that has the ability to display some of its wild traits.

DIET: The Pouch rat is an omnivore, their diet in the wild consists of insects, snails, nuts, seeds, and fruit. In captivity they are relatively easy to feed. A good parrot mix (remove chili peppers), which then can be supplemented with mixes nuts (no salt), dry dog food or Omnivore dry diet, rodent blocks, monkey biscuits, dried fruits and raisins. On a daily basis they require about half a cup of fresh fruit/vegetable matter. For treats one can offer cooked pasta, whole grain breads, cooked eggs, and even a little yogurt. Now remember because of their wonderful cheek pouches they can carry a large amount of food - so they do on the occasion empty out their food dishes only to store it someplace else. Fresh clean water daily is a must - one can also offer them a good rodent multi - vitamin to their water.

With lots of love, daily handling, good diet and care Pouch rats can live a long happy and healthy life.

Lifespan in captivity - average is 8 years but some have been known to live up to 10 years. Sexual maturity is 5 to 6 months. Males can be neutered.

http://floridakeystreasures.com/creatures/pouchrat/
 
Old December 12th, 2008 #6
Alex Linder
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[CDC - believe at your own risk]

What You Should Know About Monkeypox

What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. It is called “monkeypox” because it was first found in 1958 in laboratory monkeys. Blood tests of animals in Africa later found that other types of animals probably had monkeypox. Scientists also recovered the virus that causes monkeypox from an African squirrel. These types of squirrels might be the common host for the disease. Rats, mice, and rabbits can get monkeypox, too. Monkeypox was reported in humans for the first time in 1970.

Is there monkeypox in the United States?
In early June 2003, monkeypox was reported among several people in the United States. Most of these people got sick after having contact with pet prairie dogs that were sick with monkeypox. This is the first time that there has been an outbreak of monkeypox in the United States.

What causes monkeypox?
The disease is caused by Monkeypox virus. It belongs to a group of viruses that includes the smallpox virus (variola), the virus used in the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia), and the cowpox virus.

What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
In humans, the signs and symptoms of monkeypox are like those of smallpox, but usually they are milder. Another difference is that monkeypox causes the lymph nodes to swell.

About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

Can you die from monkeypox?
In Africa, monkeypox has killed between 1 percent and 10 percent of people who get it. However, this risk would probably be lower in the United States, where nutrition and access to medical care are better.

How do you catch monkeypox?
People can get monkeypox from an animal with monkeypox if they are bitten or if they touch the animal’s blood, body fluids, or its rash. The disease also can spread from person to person through large respiratory droplets during long periods of face-to-face contact or by touching body fluids of a sick person or objects such as bedding or clothing contaminated with the virus.

How do you treat monkeypox?
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. In Africa, people who got the smallpox vaccine in the past had a lower risk of monkeypox. CDC has sent out guidelines explaining when smallpox vaccine should be used to protect against monkeypox. For example, people taking care of someone infected with monkeypox should think about getting vaccinated. Contact your state or local health department for more information.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/monkeypox/factsheet2.htm

Last edited by Alex Linder; December 12th, 2008 at 01:46 AM.
 
Old December 14th, 2008 #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
They're sort of cute. Sort of like a cross between a rabbit and a rat. I don't see a tail. This animal has evolved large ears, revealing that it lives a lifestyle closer to the vegtarian rabbit than the common house rat.
There is a certain species of guinae pig, in Pategonia" who resembles almost fully a rabbit but is actually of the guinae pig family.
I don't mean this one, but this is also of the guinae pig family:

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Patagonian_Mara



Getting back on-topic, the Chinese Lady Beetle has invaded Europe and is threatening the native variant:



The native:



Sorry. I can't find anything in English, yet:

http://www.lr-online.de/nachrichten/...rt1676,1804437

Quote:
...Die asiatischen Käfer sind Ternois zufolge besonders gefräßig: Sie vertilgen nicht nur große Mengen von Blattläusen, sondern auch andere Insekten, Insekteneier und Larven. Dadurch würden immer mehr einheimische Arten verdrängt. Wo sich die Harmonia axyridis ausbreitet, müssen die anderen weichen...
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Old February 15th, 2009 #8
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The New Zealand earthworm is destroying the native European earthworm species.
 
Old October 30th, 2009 #9
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Default Invasive Species Brings Invasive Species

Updated: May 31, 2006

Alien invaders and red tape



In reviewing "Snakehead: A Fish Out of Water" by Eric Jay Dolin, it is discovered that invasive species are a serious problem, and that the human network to control them sometimes is just as problematic

By James A. Swan, Ph.D. Author "In Defense of Hunting"

As if chronic wasting disease and West Niles virus weren't bad enough, in late September a 2-foot-long exotic Chinese snakehead fish was discovered in Wisconsin's Rock River.

Snakeheads have the head of a Northern pike and the body of a dogfish, can breathe air, live out of water for an extended time and wiggle across land to move from pond to pond.

And, they have an appetite like a flesh-eating vacuum cleaner.

There are 28 varieties of snakehead, ranging from minnow-size specimens that are prized for aquarium fish tanks to giants that reach three feet in length.

In Asia, especially China, Thailand and Japan, the large snakeheads are considered a delicacy and a game fish with tasty flesh that some believe has healing values.

Nonetheless, Chinese gangs are called "snakeheads," suggesting the personality of the fish.

Snakeheads wiggled into the national headlines last year.

"On a warm and muggy day in May 2002, two men went fishing at a small and totally unremarkable pond in Crofton, Md.," according to Eric Jay Dolin, in his new 266-page hardback, "Snakehead: A Fish Out of Water" (Smithsonian Institution; $24.95).

"One of them caught a fish that looked like nothing that he'd ever seen … later identified as a northern snakehead."

In late June and early July of last year, two more northern snakeheads (Channa argus) were caught in the same pond. The Maryland Department became concerned the snakeheads were multiplying and might "walk" to the nearby Patuxent River, taking over the aquatic ecosystem and consuming its inhabitants.

Dolin writes how the media picked up on the story and "with astonishing speed, the northern snakehead, variously labeled a 'Frankenfish,' 'killer fish,' 'pit bull with fins,' 'Chinese thug fish,' 'X-Files fish' and 'the fish from hell' became an indisputable media superstar."

Dolin's book is a blend of fascinating scientific reporting, mixed with detailed accounts of the many human angles of resource management and sprinkled with snakehead comic routines.

Along the way we meet scientists who specialize in invasive species, entrepreneurs trying to capitalize on the snakehead stardom with T-shirts and "Frankenfish nuggets," many species of media personalities and even the man who released the snakehead into the pond.

The Maryland snakeheads were traced to a Chinese man originally bought them from a fish market to cook for his ailing sister, as Chinese traditional medicine calls for snakeheads to healing wounds. She got well before he could cook them.

The snakeheads were gobbling up more goldfish than he could afford to feed them, so he let them go in the pond. The rest is history.

Ultimately, in November 2002, after applications of herbicide and rotenone, Maryland declared victory over the snakeheads in the Crofton Pond.

Aside from being a well-written and entertaining case study of modern resource management, what springs out is how the modern resource manager cannot, and should not, try to avoid dealing with the media.

Dolin notes that snakeheads have been found in the wild in six other states, but none have received anywhere near the degree the publicity of the "Frankenfish of Crofton."

Media relations are a part of modern resource management, like it or not. Public opinion can make or destroy a resource management program.

Modern resource management can't avoid dealing with people, and as this book points out, the better skilled resource managers are with managing human elements of the resources, the more successful they will be.

For the record, more than 17,000 snakeheads have been imported live by Asian fish markets and pet stores since 1997. It stands to reason that some will get out, which is why the US Fish and Wildlife Service has taken steps toward banning them.

Dolin describes the process of making such policy and includes some of the more interesting public commentary letters, including those pleading, "Save the poor snakeheads!"

Snakeheads bring up the larger problem of exotic invasive species. According to a federal interagency for invasive species, "An invasive species' is defined as a species that is 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health."

Some, like sea lampreys and zebra mussels, sneak in, but many, many other exotic alien invaders initially arrive as pets or by the efforts of well-intentioned, but ecologically naive people.

Introductions of ringneck pheasants, chukar partridge, and Hungarian partridge have worked out well, bringing us greater biodiversity and more opportunities for fishing and hunting. They seem to be an exception to the rule that when foreign species of plants and animals set up shop in North America, they become nightmares.

The list of foreign species of plants and animals that have established themselves on U.S. soil includes carp, starlings, nutria, kudzu, English sparrows, zebra mussels, mitten crabs, mongoose, purple loosestrife and glassy-winged sharpshooter.

With man's help or by accident, they have disrupted the ecology and economy of North America. Indeed, the is long and growing longer.

A study done by researchers at Cornell University concludes that invasive species do more than $138 billion of damage a year; and the problem is getting worse.

The Cornell study reports there are approximately 50,000 foreign species and the number is increasing. About 42 percent of the species on the threatened or endangered species lists are at-risk primarily because of non-indigenous species.

Florida officials report 32 species of non-native fish have become established there, including the bullseye snakehead, which has become established as a minor game fish.

Has anyone heard about the Asian carp introduced to Missouri waters that leaps out the water when it hears a loud noise? Anglers in speeding boats, beware!


James Swan — who has appeared in more than a dozen feature films, including "Murder in the First" and "Star Trek: First Contact," as well as the television series "Nash Bridges," "Midnight Caller" and "Modern Marvels" — is the author of the book "In Defense of Hunting." Click here to purchase a copy.

To learn more about Swan, visit his Web site.

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/g...ad_book_review
 
Old October 20th, 2010 #10
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Default Invasive species deserve greater attention, experts warn

http://www.deutsche-welle.de/dw/arti...125241,00.html

Quote:
...Carsten Nowak from the Senkenberg Research Institute in Germany is worried that globalization may be leading to a gradual homogenization of species across the continents

"If we want to maintain regional differences, we have to somehow stop (current rates of) species invasions," he told Deutsche Welle...

...Tiger mosquitoes were originally transported to Albania in a batch of tires in 1979. From there they made their way to Italy. They are a serious cause for concern, because they carry diseases like dengue fever...

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Old October 22nd, 2010 #11
Kind Lampshade Maker
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Default The western corn rootworm

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/kreis...maisschaedling

...The up to 5 millimeter long rootworm originated in North America. It was brought to the Balkans, years ago (through supply shipments for Kwan anti-Serb cannonfodder stationed in Macedonia?), where it made its way to the Mediterranean area. This is how it spread to Italy and Switzerland...


Quote:
...Der maximal fünf Millimeter große Maiswurzelbohrer trieb ursprünglich in Nordamerika sein Unwesen. Vor Jahren wurde er in den Balkan eingeschleppt, von wo aus er sich über den Mittelmeerraum weiteverbreitete. So kommt er in Italien vor und in der Schweiz...
Graphic source:

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/lokal...-34414657.html

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Old October 23rd, 2010 #12
Kind Lampshade Maker
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Default The chestnut leaf miner

http://www.infoblaetter.fagw.info/kurzinfo.php?id=29

...The Cameraria ohridella was first discovered in Macedonia ("FYROM" in Jarhead jargon), in 1983/1984. The moth then transitted through Austria.
The exact place of origin in Asia is unknown...


Quote:
...Der europäische Fundort von Cameraria ohridella ist Mazedonien (Jugoslawien), hier wurde der Schädling erstmals 1983/1984 festgestellt. Insbesondere über Österreich breitete sich der Schmetterling weiter aus. Das eigentliche Herkunftgebiet der Miniermotte ist bisher unbekannt, eventuell stammt die Art aus Asien...
Graphic source:

http://www.freiburg.de/servlet/PB/sh...tt_aktuell.pdf

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Old November 3rd, 2010 #13
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Default The bark beetle

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/ratge...fer-nimmersatt



...It could soon change. Because, the Dryocosmus Kuriphilus and the (No translation yet available for "Obstbaumzünsler") was yet unknown to Carl Wilhelm von Gümbel. The climate change has introduced new invaders. Both have reached Switzerland and France and it's not that much further to Bavaria...

Quote:
...Demnächst könnte sich das allerdings ändern, denn Japanische Edelkastanien-Gallwespe
und Obstbaumzünsler kannte Carl Wilhelm von Gümbel noch nicht. Der Klimawandel hat den europäischen Wäldern neue Eindringlinge beschert. Bis in die Schweiz und nach Frankreich haben die beiden es schon geschafft, und damit ist Bayern nicht mehr weit...
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Last edited by Kind Lampshade Maker; November 3rd, 2010 at 03:55 AM.
 
Old February 25th, 2014 #14
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Default Spanish rice farmers fight invasive snail

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...invasive-snail



The EU has "washed its hands" of an invasion of snails in a Spanish river delta that are destroying crops and threaten to spread into other southern European wetlands, farmers say.

Rice-growers in the Ebro Delta on southern Catalonia's Mediterranean coast have reported losing up to half of their crops since the island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) was first seen in 2009. The worst-affected fields have 12 snails per square metre, with each snail capable of eating the roots of up to 15 rice plants each day.

Authorities are attempting to destroy the snails by drying out their fields over winter and flooding some with salt water. The EU has supported the experiment by sharing the cost with the Spanish and Catalonian governments. But it will recoup €378,000 of this money from the delta's struggling farmers. The EU pays farmers a subsidy to keep their fields flooded during the winter months and preserve wetland habitat for birds and fish. The EU gave growers permission to drain 7,000 hectares of fields this winter, but this meant losing their subsidies.

"The EU has washed its hands of the problem," said Albert Pons, a rice farmer from the delta village of Camarles. "I have spent hours and hours setting up systems to catch and eliminate the snail, cleaning out filters and irrigation channels and physically searching for and killing the snails one at a time."

The Ebro River's delta of rice fields and wetlands provide habitat and breeding sites for a large range of bird species. More than 7,000 hectares is protected under the Ramsar convention on wetlands. The wetlands currently remain free of the snail.

The European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) says the snails could destroy wetland ecosystems if they spread across southern Europe. The vice-chair of Efsa's panel on plant health, Joop van Lenteren, said juvenile snails, only millimetres across, could attach to the feathers of migrating birds and spread to wetlands hundreds of kilometres away. The hulls of local fishing boats could be covered with eggs, raising concerns the snail could hitch a ride to other waterways.

Efsa research indicates that the snail could thrive in large parts of Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece and the Danube. If this happens, the snail could push already fragile ecosystems into irreversible decline as it has done in Thailand and other countries in south-east Asia.

"When the snail establishes in rivers and wetlands the consequences can be serious. Because it is so voracious, there is a high risk to biodiversity," he said.

According to tthe Global Invasive Species Database, the snails have an ability to reproduce at extraordinary rates. Between April and November, females will lay 400 bright pink eggs every five to 15 days.

Pons said when the snail first appeared on his farmland, he did not realise what an insidious threat it posed. "I first saw the snail in an irrigation channel in 2010. The following year we found them in my rice fields. This last year has been catastrophic and our struggle to remove or control them [is] extremely expensive.

"The plague has spread like wildfire. Now farmers and the public bodies cannot keep up with it. Seeing the extent of the damage, I feel anxiety for the future of my livelihood and family," said Pons.

The South American species is a popular aquarium pet because of its size and can grow as big as an apple. Its release into the Ebro has been linked with Promotora Bama, an exotic animal importer, which bred the snails at a facility in the village of L'Aldea on the north side of the delta. The snails were first detected in a drainage channel in the town. Shortly afterwards, the company relocated its facility to the town of Tarragona, 80km to the north.

Promotora Bama, who were unavailable for comment, were taken to court by the Catalonian government in 2012 but a judge dismissed the action because it had passed the three-year statute of limitations. Efsa said the snails in the delta had genetic traits consistent with cultivation in the pet industry.


Eggs left by the snails. Photograph: Dani Forcadell

In November 2012, the EU banned the import of all snails in the genus pomacea.

An European commission spokesperson said: "The commission is very concerned about the economic and environmental damage caused by the apple snail and for that reason, under the EU plant health legislation, the snails of the genus pomacea are subject to emergency measures to prevent its introduction into and the spread within the Union."

The EU has made €2.64m available to the Spanish authorities from 2010 until 2013 for control actions against the harmful organism. But the EU says the subsidy contracts farmers received for flooding their fields, which were suspended during 2013, expired at the end of last year and would not be reinstated because the fields no longer represent good habitat for birds.

"The commission does not consider appropriate to extend these commitments until 2014, given the economic and environmental damage caused by the apple snail."
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The rest of you are nothing more than a livestock – you were created for us: to serve in that or the other way.
 
Old May 20th, 2014 #15
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Default Just found this 18-year old article

An extremely destructive clam species native to Asia which clung onto the hulls of yachts has been invading freshwater streams and lakes in Bavaria. The problem since then could have only gotten worse: http://www.bezirk-oberbayern.de/show...t=tx|360.566.1

 
Old May 28th, 2014 #16
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Giant Hogweed

Heracleum_mantegazzianum Heracleum_mantegazzianum

Quote:
Giant hogweed is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to ultraviolet rays. Initially, the skin colours red and starts itching. Then blisters form as it burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may be necessary. Presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.
The huge plant has hollow stalks that are attractive to children as play telescopes

 
Old June 24th, 2014 #17
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Watch out! The venomous ‘rocket ant’ with jaws like a beartrap that is invading the US

- Trap-jaw ant can open its jaw 180 degrees
- Can release it like a beartrap at the ground to launch itself into the air
- 9.5mm ant spreading across the Gulf states

By MARK PRIGG
23 June 2014

It can open its jaw 180 degrees, and fire it like a beartrap at the ground to launch itself into the air.

It also backs a venomous sting - and is invading the US.

The giant Trap-jaw ants are spreading across the US, researchers warned today.



THE GIANT TRAP-JAW ANT

There are four species of trap-jaw ants native to the United States.

Sorger and her co-authors were interested in the spread of an invasive and particularly aggressive species from South America called Odontomachus haematodus, which was first unofficially recorded in Alabama in 1956.

Measuring upto 9.5mm long, they are commonly called trap-jaw ants due to their elongate mandibles, which can be opened to 180°, then snapped rapidly together on prey.

These ants are amazing in their ability to control and time the mandibular movement.
When necessary, an ant can forcibly close the mandibles against a surface or other organism and actually propel itself away for up to several inches

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz35YtDIn6c
 
Old June 24th, 2014 #18
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Their stings can't be dangerous to humans. At least, they're not ugly like most ants are.
 
Old July 23rd, 2014 #19
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A species of aggressive hornet not native to the UK has reportedly been spotted in Scotland – or has it?

Workmen in Fife were shocked to discover what they say was an insect “two to three inches long” with a 6mm-long sting “the length of a needle.”

Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) are predators originally from China, which were introduced to the south of France within a delivery of pottery in late 2004.

The species has killed six people in France since its arrival, having caused an anaphylactic shock in its victims - its sting is slightly fouler solely due to its size, which is larger than a normal bee.

However, it is a much larger threat to the honey bee – causing significant losses to colonies.

It can grow up to 3cm and has a black/dark brown thorax.

Considering that Andrew Allan, 30, from East Kilbride, said he saw a hornet considerably larger than the one feared to be making its way towards the Channel, it’s more likely he saw its larger European counterpart - the “hornet” (Vespa crabro) or a Horntail.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-9621683.html
 
Old July 25th, 2014 #20
Jimmy Marr
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Default Jews of the Reptile World

According to Cygnet, these are the ultimate jizards because they are already in Madagascar.

The Satanic Leaf-tailed Geko
 
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