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Tag Archive | "invasive species"

Register now for upcoming NotMISpecies webinars


A US Fish and Wildlife Service fisheries biologist weighs a bighead carp. Photo courtesy of Ryan Hagerty, USFWS.

Are you concerned about invasive species in Michigan? Wondering what’s being done or what you can do? The NotMISpecies webinar series, offering different topics April through July, has answers and information you can use.

The hour long monthly series hosts experts with hands-on experience in invasive species research, management and prevention who provide current information on threats to Michigan’s land and waters. Question and answer sessions and links to resources help attendees get the most out of each presentation.

The Michigan Invasive Species Program has added new sessions for the spring and summer. To register for these upcoming events, go to michigan.gov/egleevents and then NotMISpecies Webinar Series on the right hand side.

Tuesday, April 20, at 9 a.m., Not in MI waters dives into the world of technicians and biologists responding to new aquatic invasive plant detections. Find out how they are using the science of early detection and response to control European frog-bit, parrot feather and other recently introduced species.

Dynamite! And other tools to protect Michigan’s state park trees (9 a.m. Tuesday, May 25) explores how and why tree health is a critical component of state park management. Learn about the variety of tools, including explosives, used to control invasive insects and diseases to keep the forest ecosystem intact and ensure you have a great recreation experience.

Invasive bighead, silver and black carp are the topic of Big, hungry fish (9 a.m. Thursday, June 24). Currently, there is no evidence of these live fish, commonly called Asian carp, in the Great Lakes. Find out how Michigan, Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to keep it that way.

Tuesday, July 27, at 9 a.m., join representatives from the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition for Hey! What’s that in your backyard? They will discuss Michigan’s 22 cooperative invasive species management areas, how they can help with management of invasives on your property and the benefits of partnering with your local CISMA.

If you are new to the series, it’s easy to catch up on topics including red swamp crayfish management, invasive species resources for boaters and lake associations, and the threat posed by spotted lanternfly. Recorded versions of all previous NotMISpecies webinars are available at Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents under Featured Webinar Series.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, a collaborative effort of the departments of Natural Resources; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Agriculture and Rural Development, coordinates and supports invasive species initiatives across the state and provides support through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

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Spotted lanternfly could be the next invasive species to threaten Michigan’s agriculture, natural resources


LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking the public to be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect with the potential to seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources. This insect could damage or kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees. To date, spotted lanternfly has not been detected in Michigan.

First found in the United States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, spotted lanternfly has been spreading rapidly across the nation. Infestations have been confirmed in Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia.

Spotted lanternfly causes direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black, sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests, particularly hornets, wasps and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.

“Spotted lanternfly could negatively impact our grape industry,” said Robert Miller, invasive species prevention and response specialist for MDARD. “But it also has the potential to damage stone fruits, apples and other crops in Michigan’s fruit belt as well as important timber species statewide.”

Spotted lanternfly egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating. Hatched eggs appear as brownish, seed-like deposits. Spotted lanternfly nymphs are wingless, beetle-like and black with white spots, developing red patches as they mature. Adults are roughly 1 inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge.

“Prevention and early detection are vital to limiting the spread of spotted lanternfly,” said Miller. “Spotted lanternfly cannot fly long distances, but they lay eggs on nearly any surface, including cars, trailers, firewood and outdoor furniture. Before leaving an area where a quarantine is present, check vehicles, firewood and outdoor equipment for unwanted hitchhikers.”

If you find a spotted lanternfly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or phone the MDARD Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939. If possible, collect a specimen in a container for verification.

For additional information on identifying or reporting spotted lanternfly, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.

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European frogbit detected in West Michigan lakes


 

Frogbit leaf: European frogbit leaves, shown here, are similar in shape, though much smaller than those of the water lily.

Frogbit leaf: European frogbit leaves, shown here, are similar in shape, though much smaller than those of the water lily.

Invasive species alert

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of European frogbit, a prohibited aquatic invasive plant, in Reeds and Fisk lakes in the city of East Grand Rapids. European frogbit was first verified in Michigan in 1996 along the Great Lakes waterways in southeastern Michigan and has since been found in areas along Lake Huron and the eastern Upper Peninsula. The detections on Reeds and Fisk lakes represent the westernmost known locations of this invasive plant in Michigan and the Midwest.

Frogbit colony: Dense colonies of European frogbit can develop quickly in shallow, slow-moving water.

Frogbit colony: Dense colonies of European frogbit can develop quickly in shallow, slow-moving water.

Staff from PLM Lake and Land Management Corporation initially identified the plant during a routine lake inspection and reported the finding through the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), triggering a notification to the DNR and the Department of Environmental Quality’s Aquatic Invasive Response Team. The team currently is assessing the risk level of the situation and working with partners in the community, including the city of East Grand Rapids, Kent Conservation District and the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, to develop an action plan.

What is European frogbit?

A native of Europe and parts of Africa and Asia, European frogbit is an aquatic plant with small (half-inch to 2.5 inch), heart-shaped leaves resembling miniature water lilies. Unlike similar aquatic plants, European frogbit does not anchor its roots in the lake or stream bed but remains free-floating. Three-petaled white flowers with yellow centers appear briefly sometime between mid-July and mid-August.

Why is it a problem?

The plant quickly forms dense colonies or mats in shallow, slow-moving waters. These thick mats prevent native plant growth, make movement difficult for ducks and large fish, and cause problems for boaters, anglers and swimmers.

European frogbit is spread by plant fragments or by turions—small, quarter-inch buds that break off the plant and overwinter in lake or stream beds. Plant parts easily can be transported to new water bodies on boat motors or trailers, fishing gear and other recreational equipment.

What can be done?      

“Detecting European frogbit in West Michigan is a call to action to all lake, stream and wetland users to clean, drain and dry boats and gear,” said Kevin Walters, an invasive species aquatic biologist with the DEQ. “Take the simple steps of removing all plants and debris from boats, trailers and gear and draining bilges and live wells before leaving a site. Allow boats and equipment to dry for at least five days before moving to another water body.”

Walters said that even waders, fishing nets and inner tubes can harbor invasive species and should be thoroughly dried in the sun or cleaned with a 2-percent bleach solution before being used at a different location.

What if I see European frogbit?

Anyone can help by reporting suspected European frogbit. The easiest way to report this harmful invasive plant is through the MISIN website, at www.misin.msu.edu or by downloading the MISIN app to a smartphone.

First, become familiar with identifying the plant. MISIN offers a short identification tutorial which helps distinguish between European frogbit and similar aquatic plants.

If you encounter European frogbit on the water, take some photos. These can be uploaded on the MISIN website or attached to a report via the MISIN app. Reports are directed through MISIN to DNR and DEQ aquatic biologists.

For more information on European frogbit and other invasive species, visit Michigan’s invasive species website at www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

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Help prevent spread of invasive New Zealand mudsnail


 

Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

In 2015, the Michigan departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources confirmed the presence of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail in the Pere Marquette River near Baldwin, which is a popular destination for trout and salmon anglers.

New Zealand mudsnails are each only about 1/8 inch long and can be difficult to see. However, these snails can significantly change the aquatic habitats they live in by reaching extremely high densities. When that happens, they can out-compete native species that are important food sources for trout. They also have no nutritional value for trout species that may feed upon them, which can negatively affect the overall condition of the trout.

The threat of New Zealand mudsnail spreading to new waters is high because they are easily transported via recreational users, such as anglers, due to their ability to attach to fishing equipment, wading gear and other hard surfaces. Once attached, they can hitch a ride to a new river or lake and begin the invasive process again. Additionally, a single snail can reproduce once transported.

New Zealand mudsnails are very resilient and have been known to survive in damp environments for up to 26 days.

As the spring fishing season gears up, anglers are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to target steelhead on the Pere Marquette and other popular Michigan rivers. It is important for anglers to clean, drain and dry their equipment to help prevent the spread of these invasive snails, as well as all types of aquatic invasive species.

Anglers are encouraged to clean boats and equipment (including waders) with hot water or a diluted bleach solution, and, when possible, allow the equipment to dry for at least five days before reusing.

Additional information about the New Zealand mudsnail and other aquatic invasive species can be found at michigan.gov/invasives.

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Sporting swine classified as invasive species


A Department of Natural Resources director’s order listing sporting swine as an invasive species took effect over the weekend on Oct. 8, making it illegal to possess the animals in Michigan.
“Absent a regulatory program in Michigan law for sporting swine facilities, the invasive species order is being put into effect,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes.
Stokes said active enforcement of the invasive species order will not start prior to April 1, 2012, with compliance visits to swine shooting and breeding facilities planned after that date.
Sporting swine facilities can use the next six months to schedule hunts to reduce the population of sporting swine on their properties. Facilities still in possession of sporting swine on April 1, 2012, may face violations and fines.
The DNR acted to list sporting swine as an invasive species to help stop the spread of invasive swine across the State to eliminate the disease risk they pose to humans, domestic pigs and wildlife, and to prevent damage to agricultural and other lands. The state is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to eradicate feral swine. Legislation was also passed last year allowing people with any valid hunting license to shoot feral swine on public land and on private land with the permission of the landowner.
For more information on feral swine in Michigan, or to report all feral swine sightings, kills and damage, go to www.michigan.gov/feralswine.

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