Showing posts with label invasives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label invasives. Show all posts

Thursday, October 14, 2010

IPANE Releases New Species Map Tool

This month, the NBII's Northeast Information Node (NIN)'s lead partner, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), is spotlighting the IPANE Species Map Tool on their homepage. The map tool allows users to explore the locations of selected invasive species common in New England, and includes a layer of USGS quad maps to track status of citizen science volunteers work in various locations.  Data used for species locations includes field data collected by IPANE volunteers and volunteers from state and local programs outside of IPANE, as well as Herbarium specimens. The map tool can be accessed from the home page of the IPANE website or from the IPANE species page. CIESIN has also completed revisions of data input screens for a new IPANE data input application.  IPANE is a featured partner of the Northeast Information Node of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII-NIN). For more information contact Dr. Les Mehrhoff.

NBII Partner Gives Opening Keynote at 2010 Stiltgrass Summit

Les Mehrhoff, Director of the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE), a partner organization of NBII’s Northeast Information Node (NIN) and Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN), gave the opening Keynote address at the 2010 Stiltgrass Summit, which took place at Southern Illinois University on August 11-12.  The summit was organized and hosted by Chris Evans, Director of the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA).  The meeting kicked off with a field trip to see some stands of Microstegium vimineum and some control work being done by River to River CWMA and some of their partners.  The second day was devoted to research papers on Japanese Stiltgrass biology, ecology, and management.  Around 100 professionals from municipal, county, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, and academia attended.   Les’ presentation, entitled “Microstegium vimineum: What George Ainslie’s Discovery Means to Us,” is available online at:  For more information on Microstegium vimineum, visit IPANE, a partner of the northeast and invasive information nodes, at

For additional information please contact: Dr. Les Mehrhoff, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut at or (860) 486-5708.

(Photo: Leaves of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) growing on the edge of an eastern hardwood forest. Credit: © 2008 Elizabeth A. Sellers, Courtesy of

Monday, August 30, 2010

USGS Scientist to be Keynote Speaker at the Celebration of the Mexican National Strategy on Invasive Species

USGS/NBII scientist Annie Simpson has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Mexican release of their National Strategy on Invasive Species, on September 7, 2010, in Mexico City. Organized by the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), the event will be attended by ministers of the different sectors of the Mexican government, scientific experts, the press, and the general public. Ms. Simpson's address will have input from the liaisons to the US National Invasive Species Council, describe invasive species as a cross-cutting issue, and speak to the importance of North American cooperation for an effective response to biological invasions.  

(Photo: Giant reed (Arundo donax), pictured, is one of many invasive species of great concern in Mexico.  Photo credit: David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia,

Friday, August 20, 2010

NBII Contributions at Weeds Across Borders 2010

NBII Node Managers Annie Simpson, Elizabeth Sellers, and Marcia McNiff provided logistical support to Elizabeth Galli-Noble, Director, Center for Invasive Plant Management, in planning the Weeds Across Borders tri-national conference on Plant Invasions: Policies, Politics, and Practices, which was held June 1-4, 2010, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. During the conference, Ms. Simpson chaired a plenary session on invasive species early detection and rapid response (EDRR), and Ms. Sellers and Ms. Simpson gave presentations and a poster on invasive species tools and partnerships. Northeast regional representation was provided by Marcia McNiff and NBII partner Dr. Les Mehrhoff, Director, Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. Dr. Randy Westbrooks, Invasive Species Prevention Specialist, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, and Dr. William P. Gregg, USGS Emeritus and former Coordinator of the USGS Invasive Species Science Program, also represented USGS at the conference.

Photo: Kudzu (Pueraria montana) blanketing open area. Photo: John Mosesso/

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Invasive Species Focus on Nutria

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jacoby Carter presented “The Natural History of an Urban Nutria (Myocastor coypus) Population Between 2005 - 2008 and the Implications for Management and Control” to the NBII Invasive Species Working Group (ISWG) during their monthly conference call on February 25, 2010. The ISWG membership includes over 100 representatives from private, non-profit, educational, state and federal government, and non-governmental organizations from across the United States. The Central Southwest & Gulf Coast Information Node’s (CSWGCIN) Invasive Species Spotlight section includes a page on Nutria that highlights Dr. Carter’s research.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Can Never Have Enough Manzanitas... or Community Scientists Around!

Congratulations to Daniel Gluesenkamp, Director of habitat protection and restoration for Stinson Beach-based Audubon Canyon Ranch, Cofounder of the Bay Area Early Detection Network and member and regular contributor to the NBII Invasive Species Working Group for finding a rare native Franciscan manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) bush while scanning San Francisco Bay area roadsides for introduced and invasive plants!!

A tiny patch of the plant was discovered by the “drive-by botanist”, where it had survived for decades undamaged. Daniel Gluesenkamp noticed this “once hidden plant” where crews were removing trees and shrubs. "There's a few of us watching the roadsides," he says, "and when there's a big change, it's interesting." This plant has now become the focus of a broad effort to reestablish its species in its native ecosystem.

The plant’s days would have been numbered had organizations such as Wild Equity Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society (*see a list of Native Plant Societies on NBII’s Botany Web site) not petitioned for the plant’s protection under the Endangered Species Act. With confirmation of the plant’s identity, a 25,000-pound chunk of soil holding the manzanita was unearthed and moved to a similar habitat.

(Photo:Workers use a crane to move the only Franciscan manzanita known in the wild. Biologist Dan Gluesenkamp discovered it as he passed by on Doyle Drive in the Presidio. Photo by Michael Chasse/National Park Service.  Photo used with permission.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NBII to Attend the 17th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS)

USGS scientist and NBII invasive species information manager Annie Simpson will give a speed poster presentation about "Creating Tools for Invasive Species Decision Support" at the International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS), to be held from 29 August to 02 September in San Diego. Hosted this year by the Bureau of Reclamation, the ICAIS conference series has evolved over the last decade into the most comprehensive international forum for the review of accumulated scientific knowledge on aquatic invasive species, and also includes discussion of policy, legislation, public education and outreach initiatives to raise awareness of the impacts of aquatic invasive species and prevent new introductions. More than 400 participants from 30 countries are expected to attend, and Ms. Simpson will promote participation in the Global Invasive Species Information Network, which was formed in 2004.    

(Photo: A cluster of developing wild blackberry (Rubus sp.) fruit. The star-like sepals remain after the petals of the flower have fallen off. Credit: © 2009 Elizabeth A. Sellers/

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database Offers Interactive Species Maps

NBII Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN) partner, the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database, recently made some upgrades to its Web site. NAS now offers point distribution maps. These appear as a separate link from any species search and from the top of any species page. These new maps depict spatial accuracy of the point and species status at each location. The map background can be changed and various other spatial layers can be turned on/off. Additional environmental layers are planned for the future.

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
Northern Snakehead fish (Channa argus)
Nutria (Myocastor coypus)

Also, the site has been converted from classic .ASP to .NET. As a result, all of the Web page addresses have changed.  However, the change is simple: the basic URL remains the same but will contain the letter X after any “ASP within the former URLs (as can be seen in the links above).

(Photo: Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), exotic to United States with map showing points of distribution.  Photo by the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University, Alabama.  Photo courtesy of the NAS Web site).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Invasive Species, Pollinators, and the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL)

USGS biological informatics scientists Elizabeth Sellers (NBII Invasive Species, Pollinators), Annie Simpson (NBII Invasive Species), and Gerald Guala (Integrated Taxonomic Information System, botany) have been invited to contribute their expertise on invasive species, pollinators, and botany at the Encyclopedia of Life's Taxonomic Triage Workshop, July 7-8 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The workshop will inform and improve the EOL’s ability to prioritize content acquisition in the coming year and beyond. In particular, Ms. Simpson and Ms. Sellers will assist EOL in identifying key species and information gaps and priorities in EOL's taxonomic coverage of invasive and pollinating species - two groups for which more species information is needed for effective management and control in the case of invasive species; and for conservation in the case of pollinators, many of which are showing marked population decreases. Dr. Guala will provide his botanical and taxonomic expertise toward the overall task of determining what content is required for a rich species page and which vascular plant groups are a priority for inclusion in EOL.

Photo: Neon Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus nitidulus). © Elizabeth Sellers 2009).

Friday, May 28, 2010

USGS Scientists Tackle Weeds Across Borders 2010

US Geological Survey (USGS) scientists Annie Simpson, Elizabeth Sellers, Marcia McNiff, and Dr. Randy Westbrooks, and USGS Scientist Emeritus Dr. William Gregg worked with the Center for Invasive Plant Management, in planning the Weeds Across Borders (WAB) tri-national conference on plant invasions: policies, politics, and practices. The conference will be held June 1-4, 2010, at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. Sponsored by the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) and with participation from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, the biennial conference covers the interests of professionals and organizations involved in weed management and regulation. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for educating, sharing, and disseminating knowledge about weed management, regulatory issues, and concerns about weed dispersal across and between all jurisdictional boundaries in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

(Photo: Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis) flowers. © 2008 Elizabeth A. Sellers.  Photo courtesy of the NBII LIFE Image Gallery.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hawaii Weed Risk Assessment Database

The NBII Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN), under contract with the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC), has completed the development of a database system for the Hawaii - Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA).  The HPWRA is a methodology designed to identify high-risk species, facilitating informed decisions that will reduce the economic and ecological harm caused by invasive plants.  Historically, HPWRA data was stored in separate spreadsheets for each of the 800+ species assessed to date. In that form, it was cumbersome to track detailed information and data were difficult to extract for analysis and presentation.
 The new system is based in SQL Server with a Microsoft Access user interface. This model allows the application to be widely distributed in a desktop environment while aggregating data in one central server database. Next steps include the development of a Web site that provides access to HPWRA data to the public.

Photos: Melastoma sanguineum (fox-tongued melastoma) Flower at Keaukaha, Hawaii.; December 05, 2001. Photos by Forest & Kim Starr,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Global Invasive Species Database Becomes GISIN Data Provider

The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is mirrored by the NBII database, is now searchable through the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN). GISIN is a distributed database system that provides a cross-search capability for invasive species status and occurrences, as well as a way to search for URLs of species resources. Data providers can now connect to the GISIN using Web services or via a flat file upload option. There are now more than a million records cached in the GISIN system. See the GISIN web site for more information.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Southern Appalachian Information Node (SAIN) Invasive Species Update

New invasive species content is now available at the Southern Appalachian Information Node (SAIN) website. New content includes information about invasive plants, invasive animals, and invasive microorganisms and pathogens. Of note is information within the invasive microorganisms and pathogens community about the 2009 pandemic influenza virus. This content explains the relationships between wildlife, agricultural ecosystems, and emerging infectious disease. SAIN collaborated with the NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node (WDIN) and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to provide this content.

Photo: The Golden Apple Snail Database provides access to approximately three decades of literature on ecology, damage, and management options for Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea spp.). It includes over 400 GAS-related articles, and over 100 images. Photo credit: Rita T. dela Cruz.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Summary Report Distributed on GISIN3: Global Invasive Species Information Network Standards Workshop

The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN) partner Discover Life and the Biology Department of Elmira College hosted a standards workshop of the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN) in late July. View the 2009 Summary Report. Six data models are now implemented; the European Invasive Alien Species Gateway (DAISIE) is the latest data provider to come online in the beta system. For more information, visit the GISIN website.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hawaii Early Detection Network

The Maui County Early Detection Program, now called the Hawaii Early Detection Network, has expanded to support invasive species early detection outreach and community engagement throughout the state. This program supports community involvement in the search for incipient invasive plants and animals by means of outreach materials and technical reporting components. During the first half of 2009, the project Web site has been redesigned and updated; reporting system database components were implemented and tested; and outreach programs were initiated on the island of Hawaii and continued on the island of Maui.
View the Maui County Pest List of invasive species.

Get your own copy of the "eyes and ears" manual by becoming a certified pest buster. You can also download a copy of the Maui "Eyes and Ears" early detection manual (2 MB PDF) to get started.

Also, access the following reporting tools from the website:
- Early Detection Reporting Tool Information Flow Chart
- Online Reporting Tool Assessor Log-on.

If you are interested in participating in this project as an Eyes and Ears volunteer, or simply for more information, please contact

(Photo: Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has been eradicated from Maui, but is going wild in high elevation areas of the Big Island.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

USGS-NBII Scientist To Chair Symposium at International Congress on Biological Invasions

Invasive Species Information Manager Annie Simpson of the USGS - National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) has been invited, and has accepted, to chair a symposium – "Knowledge management, decision-making tools, capacity development, and public awareness" – at the International Congress on Biological Invasions. The Congress will take place in Fuzhou, China, November 2-6, 2009. Ms. Simpson will also make an oral presentation titled "The Global Invasive Species Information Network: information sharing for informed decision-making." Hundreds of invasive species specialists from around the world will convene at the Congress to exchange ideas on improving the management of biological invasions at national, regional, and global levels.

Visit the International Congress on Biological Invasions website for more information about the upcoming Congress.

(Photo: Inflorescence of Eichhornia crassipes at Berrimah, Northern Territory, Australia (Photo by Colin Wilson, from the Global Invasive Species Database)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plans to Enhance BAMONA Spatially

In addition to ongoing data collection and maintenance this coming year, the Big Sky Institute plans to convert the Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) database into a geospatial database, develop a Web mapping service, and develop a visualization capability for the BAMONA data set that will support WMS, KML, and/or other accepted standards. The mapping service will be interoperable with NBII Web sites and species page mashups, the USGS National Map Viewer, Google Earth, and other NBII partners/projects such as the Cactus Moth Monitoring and Detection Network that is coordinated by the Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN) partner John Madsen with the Mississippi State University GeoSystems Research Institute. This project is being supported by multiple NBII nodes including Mountain Prairie, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Pacific Basin. The outcome will provide content for regional nodes across the NBII network.

For a list of recent updates, visit the BAMONA blog.

(Photo: Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) website screen image)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NBII Represented at International Symposium on Invasive Plants

NBII's Northeast Information Node (NIN) manager Marcia McNiff attended "Invasive Plants in the Northeast of Asia and America: Trading Problems, Trading Solutions," an international symposium on invasive plants sponsored by and held at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT on August 10-12, 2009. The invited participants included scientists from the U.S., Japan, South Korea, China and far eastern Russia, with interests in both pure and applied research related to invasive species biology. Selected scientists and policy makers from U.S. and Asian government agencies were also invited. A number of scientific papers and posters presented at the symposium featured research conducted using data from the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE), a partner organization of NBII’s Northeast Information Node (NIN) and Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN).

(Photo: Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii ). Photographer, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, Director of IPANE)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

National Early Detection Network Presented at the Consortium of Northeast Herbaria Cactus Moth Found in Louisiana

Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN) partners at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Geosystems Research Institute, as coordinators of the Cactus Moth Early Detection and Monitoring System, reported that the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine has confirmed the presence of the moth in Louisiana, its most western known location in North America, to date. Adult moths were captured at scent-baited traps and sent to MSU for identification. As a follow-up, monitoring has been increased in the region. Training in cactus moth identification will also take place in Louisiana as part of an effort to step up detection efforts in the hopes to facilitate effective control. Maps of moth and host cactus distribution are available online.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Discover Life's New Online Journal

Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN) partner Discover Life has launched an online journal called Proceedings of Life that is interactive, peer-reviewed, and free to all users. It will provide authors with a means to get academic credit and a permanent scientific citation for building and maintaining high-quality databases on the Web. The publication will use natural language processing and other software tools to allow authors to process documents and databases rapidly into interactive publications. Invasive species, taxonomy, and climate change are just a few of the areas that are anticipated to fall within the scope of this data-rich journal.