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Invasive Species

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posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 01:55 PM
As the world becomes smaller, with international travel and trade, native biology is increasingly falling prey to invasive species, worldwide. As natural and native habitats are exposed to these foreign invaders, extinction on a mass scale is unavoidable. With increased mobility comes increased risk, we need to look no further than the Marburg outbreak in Angola to recognise this point. The potential for a host infected with such a virus to travel the world and expose unwitting millions is very real and worrisome

I am starting this thread to adress this pressing issue. Please comment as you will , and post relavant information. I am primarily interested in your first hand accounts of invasive species that have found there way into your area. Please post what you have encountered personally or have heard about locally.

Invasive species are a harmful subset of so-called exotic, alien, non-native, or introduced species, and are one of the most serious global environmental challenges we face.

Many fare poorly when introduced to a new environment, but some thrive when freed from native competitors, predators, and diseases. Left unchecked, they can transform entire ecosystems and out-compete or consume native species to the point of extinction.

Link to Union of Concerned Scientists:

One study estimates that the total costs of invasive species in the United States amount to more than $100 billion each year. (Pimentel et al., 1999).

Invasive species impact nearly half of the species currently listed as Threatened or Endangered under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act.

One invasive plant, purple loosestrife, can produce up to 2.7 million seeds per plant yearly and spreads across approximately 1 million additional acres of wetlands each year.

The brown tree snake, an invasive snake originating in the South Pacific and Australia, has exterminated 10 of 13 native bird species, 6 of 12 native lizard species, and 2 of 3 bat species on the island of Guam.

The glassy-winged sharpshooter, an invasive insect recently detected in California, carries with it the plant bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, a disease that has caused nearly $40 million in losses of California grapes. The disease poses a major threat to grape, raisin, and wine industries, as well as the tourism associated with them. Collectively these are valued at nearly $35 billion annually.

Foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious disease of cloven-hoofed animals, has caused the United States to ban temporarily meat imports from the European Union and Chile. The epidemic has already cost British companies $30 billion dollars, according to the Institute of Directors. Small businesses have lost on average $75,000 and larger ones have lost approximately $300,000.

Link to Gov site:

A list comipling profiled invasive species:

Terrestrial Plants
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Chinese tallow (Sapium sebiferum)
Common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)
Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)
Downy brome (Bromus tectorum)
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Hairy Whitetop (Lepidium appelianum)
Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)
Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)
Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)
Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)
Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum)
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
Purple star thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)
Quackgrass (Elymus repens)
Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens)
Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.)
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii)
Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum)
Whitetop (Lepidium draba)
Yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Terrestrial Animals
Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata)
Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)
Cane toad (Bufo marinus)
Cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum)
Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)
European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus)
Glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata)
Hemlock Woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
Pink Hibiscus Mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus)
Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia)
Silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii)
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

Aquatic & Wetlands Plants
Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa)
Caulerpa, Mediterranean clone (Caulerpa taxifolia)
Common reed (Phragmites australis)
Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant-reed (Arundo donax)
Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta)
Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Water chestnut (Trapa natans)
Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Aquatic & Wetlands Animals

Ballast water

Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)
Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus)
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)
European green crab (Carcinus maenas)
Lionfish (Pterois volitans)
Flathead catfish (Pylodictus olivaris)
Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)
Nutria (Myocastor coypus)
Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
Sea squirt (Didemnum lahillei)
Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)
Veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa)
Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

Exotic Newcastle Disease (Paramyxovirus)
Fowlpox (Avipoxvirus)
Plum Pox (Potyviruses: Potyviridae)
Soybean Rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi, Phakopsora meibomiae)
Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum)
West Nile virus (Flavivirus)
Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis)

Link to links: Learn more about each

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 02:05 PM

The Africanized honeybee, or " Killer Bee"
Common Names Scientific Name

Africanized Honey Bee Apismellifera scutellata (Ruttner)
Killer Bee

Killer bees are really Africanized Honey Bees. They have come by their "killer" moniker because they will viciously attack people or animals that unintentionally stray into their territory. The Africanized Honey Bee ("AHB") colony does not have to be disturbed to provoke the bees; even simple noises or vibrations have been known to cause an attack.
A Bit of History

In 1956 African bees were brought to Brazil so that scientists there could try to develop a honey bee better adapted to tropical areas. Unfortunately, some of the bees escaped and began breeding with local Brazilian honey bees. Since 1957, these bees and their hybrid offspring, Africanized Honey Bees, have been multiplying and migrating to other regions.

The first swarm of Africanized bees in the United States was documented in 1990 at Hidalgo, Texas.

About the Bees

The sting of the Africanized Honey Bee is no more potent than your garden variety honey bee and they look pretty much the same. What makes AHBs more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances. The AHB colony can remain agitated longer and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive. AHB colonies can be very large, and they are not particularly selective about the location of their hives. The Queen Africanized bee can lay up to 1,500 eggs a day.

AHBs are likely to develop near canals, drainage ditches and retention basins because they like to be near water. When they sense rain, they swarm.

In Arizona, the AHB colonies have grown and the more aggressive colonies are the ones that have survived the droughts of the past few years. The summer is the peak period for bee attacks because there is less honey, and the bees become more protective of their hives.

The Statistic You've Been Waiting For

Although it is not a concrete number, the American Medical Association has said that seven bee stings per pound can be lethal. Don't forget, however, that people react to bee stings differently. There is one documented case of a man who survived over 2,000 bee stings. There are others who are very sensitive or allergic to bee stings and would certainly not fare that well. Pets are also vulnerable. So far, there have been eight deaths in Arizona attributed to Africanized Honey Bees

Link to text:

The Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) is a result of mating between African bees and European honey bees of North and South America. In 1956, a geneticist brought African queens to Brazil with the idea of developing a superior honey bee, one more suited to tropical conditions. Unfortunately, bees from 26 experimental colonies headed by African queens swarmed near Sao Paulo, Brazil. The bees interbred in the wild with the European honey bees, resulting in "Africanized" offspring. These bees are moving northward about 100 to 300 miles per year. They have spread throughout most of South America, Mexico, southern parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

All honey bee colonies are composed of three castes: a queen, several hundred drones, and from 30,000 to 50,000 workers. Because colonies are highly specialized, no individual bee, including the queen, is capable of living alone or establishing a new colony. The worker bee, which flies from flower to flower, is the most familiar of the three castes. It measures about 3/8- to 1/2-inch long.

Although the AHB looks like our European honey bee, it can be differentiated by a laboratory examination and computer analysis. An identification method called FABIS (Fast Africanized Bee Identification System) is currently being used. First, a bee sample is taken and the wings are measured. Results are then compared with standard European bee wing measurements. If the results indicate a probable positive AHB, a complete body part measuring analysis is conducted.

Adult Honey Bees Consist of Castes

Worker 2/5-3/5 in., Queen 3/5-3/4 in., Drone 3/4-5/8 in.

Life Cycle and Habits
Both European and Africanized queens are responsible for reproduction in their colonies. Their drones mate with the queens, while the workers, which are sterile females, collect nectar and pollen and defend the colony.

European and Africanized workers have barbed stingers. When either type of bee stings a human, it leaves both the stinger and tiny, attached venom sac. This causes the bee to die soon after. If you are stung, simply scrape the stinger out to remove it.

The venom of an AHB is no more poisonous than that of their European counterparts. However, they are more defensive if provoked. The stinging response of AHBs is 10 times greater than that of European honey bees. Vibrations from motors, such as a power lawn mower or weed whacker, particularly seem to disturb them. When provoked, the bees will wander as far as a quarter mile from their nest to chase an intruder. However, individual AHBs on foraging trips for nectar and pollen are no more likely to sting than our European honey bees - they are not wanton killers.

Africanized honey bees tend to colonize large areas and swarm excessively. Also, the bees will leave the colony completely and move to a new location when conditions in the environment do not suit them - a special trait known as "absconding." Africanized honey bees may abscond on flights of several miles.

Impact on Pollination and Honey
European honey bees that interbreed with AHBs may become harder to manage as pollinators and may produce less honey. This is an important consideration when each year honey bees add at least $10 billion to the value of more than 90 crops in this country. They also produce about $150 million worth of honey each year.

LINK To Text:

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 11:18 PM
I do a lot of backpacking, and a lot of charity work for nature. One summer, I spent a lot of time clearing trails in New England, building trails, building and repairing places to stay, etc. One day, a bunch of us went out to a lake that was infested with water chestnuts. These things are terrible. The totally cover the water over an incredibly small period of time, and destroy the ecosystem. We picked huge bags of them all day, our grand total was nearly 120 giant garbage bags worth (each bag was about twice the size of the largest garbage bag you normally buy).

Of course, turns out I stepped on one, and two days later was this close to contracting tetanus. I got real lucky, the doc told me. Tetanus has a 40% survival rate.

My family has a summer cottage up in the finger lakes. It's a gorgeous place, and the community is fantastic (three families from a century ago). The dock is the best place in the world to relax.

A number of years ago, zebra mussles invaded. Named for their stripes, they come in and multiple by the hundreds, thousands, millions. They eat up a lot of the stuff floating in the water that the smaller fish eat, so the fish population declined rapidly. Also, the water became a lot clearer so the seaweed shot up. It was a total drag. In recent years, however, the mussles have declined in population significantly, and I am really hopeful for this summer.

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 11:57 PM
You have voted Alias Jones for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month

For a topic greatly overlooked for the more spectacular.

For the record I'm a Fisheries and Wildlife student at Michigan State University. I am also a member of RISE (Residential Initiative for Study of the Enviornment).I aslo have had some experience with the Cascade Mountain area, though more with geology than anything else. We here in Michigan, have a lot of problems with several of these as well.

From what I have off the top of my head, there are many more that I will post of later.
Zebra mussel
Coho Salmon
Steelhead trout (They are one of a couple reasons the greyling is very rare now in the Great lakes area, along with the Coho)
a type of beetle (Ash trees and our basswood trees are infected)
there are also a few wetland plants that I will have to look up. (possibly the brazilian waterweed, but I don't think so)

I also tried to make a point in this thread about Wisconsin trying to pass a Feral Cat hunting law, about these cats being an invasive species, which I will elaborate on later if you'd like me to.

here's the cat thread

I'll pull up more research this weekend and get some more info. I'll also get some links for organizations supporting removal of some of these species, such as the Nature Conservatory (NCA?) bah to late to think.

Also, there is research into ways to reduce lamprey populations here at MSU. I'll see if I can find some info on it as well.

[edit on 22-4-2005 by silentlonewolf]

posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 12:01 AM
Gracious this is alot of great information. Thank you all and keep it comming. Some of this is very helpfull to summer trips for people that have no clue to things of nature.
Fine posts

posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 12:20 AM
well austrailia has problems with wild dog packs and rabbits.

but here in ontario we have to contend with zebra mussles. not only do they harm the waters they end up in they also clog things like water intakes. not to mention that their shells have caused the need to wear footwear while swimming to avoid sliced up feet.

we havw purtple lustrife also cogging up waterways and numerous insects that do not belong here.

posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 12:53 AM
Here's a few research projects going on here at MSU. Personally I didn't even know they were going on

all from here a little more on each one as well

Soybean Aphid Population Regulation

The soybean aphid is a major new invasive pest of soybean in North America. In 2003, over 42 million acres of soybean in the North Central US were infested and over 7 million acres were treated with insecticides to control soybean aphid. Because of its dispersal behavior, virus transmission capabilities, and interactions with other pests, soybean aphid is responsible for driving pest management decisions in multiple crops at the landscape level.

Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife in Michigan

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L. (Lythraceae) is an invasive wetland perennial plant of Eurasian origin that is widely established in North America and is considered a threat to native wetland flora and fauna. Two European beetles, Galerucella calmariensis L. and G. pusilla Duft. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) have been introduced and widely distributed in North America for biological control of L. salicaria. Experimental releases of Galerucella spp. beetles were made in three locations in Michigan in 1994. In 1997 we initiated a project to rear, redistribute, and evaluate the impacts of Galerucella calmariensis in 19 additional sites throughout Michigan.

Utilizing Native Plants to Enhance Natural Enemy Performance

This study investigates conservation biological control through habitat manipulation using native plants. Many natural enemies require access to floral nectar and/or pollen for maximum longevity and effectiveness at controlling pest insects and recommendations of beneficial plants can be readily found. However, most recommendations of nectar/pollen plants utilize non-native species and the research basis for these recommendations is often lacking.

Potential for Biological Control of Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara and Grande is a major invasive plant in North America. A native of Eurasia, A. petiolata invades forested communities where it can displace native herbaceous flora, compete with timber species regeneration, alter litter layer depth and composition, impact mycorrhizal associations and result in cascading ecosystem impacts. Conventional methods have failed to yield techniques for practical control of this plant on landscape scales. A biological control program is under development, and currently five agents are in host-specificity testing in anticipation of possible North American release

posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 12:54 AM
Weeks ago Alexodin, who lives in Florida, & I, discussed the case of the walking catfish, Clarias batrachus, on the thread titled "Meet 'Hog Kong' with amazing photo" in the section 'Cryptozoology & Mythical Beasts' (page 2 of the list of threads) & he provided the following link to a site where the Florida Museum of Natural History gives a detailed description:

Invasion of the Walking Catfish

...& this is Alexodin's comment:

"Yes Florida has walking catfish. Back in the 60's a truck carrying these critters wrecked in the Everglades and released them into the wild. (...)

"The good news is that they seem to have integrated into the ecosystem and the population has become stable without tremendous negative impact. Florida suffers from many invasive species that do not belong there and displace the native species. Florida's native species are very passive and cannot compete with aggressive invaders."

Also, on one of the earliest threads in the section 'Aliens & UFOs', titled "Executive Order 13112-- Invasive Species", you can find the entire contents of this EO:

EO 13112

Apparently it was placed there because it includes the definition of the phrase "alien species".

posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 08:26 PM
I searched "Michigan" and found your post.
For two years I have seen the strangest bugs in around my home.
These insects looks like cross betweens of:
1)bees and flys (hairy fly bodies with stripes)
2)blue beetles and hornets (hornets with "fly-blue" shiny elongated bodies)
3)flying ants and bees (ant bodies with bee heads)
4)spiders with "wings" or winged things with spider legs....
We live on a lake and I've been outside and cleaning window ledges for eight years. I'm not making this up! It's so strange.
These are just a few. My husband thinks I'm just starting to notice them but he can't explain some of these freaky little aliens, either.
I dunno...I can't see ANY of the external links the op posted.

posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 08:39 PM

Looks pretty harmless, eh?

Who'd think that they could do this? (GRAPHIC)

And this?

And to top it off the build nests like this:

Oh yeah, can't forget to mention, the little buggers will chase you down, by the thousands, if you disturb the nest:

Good God! I hate fire ants!!!

Worst imports ever.

[edit on 24-10-2008 by asmeone2]

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