Tag Archives | invasive species

Invasion of the earthworms, mapped and analyzed

This small worm -- Dendrobaena octaedra, sometimes called the octagonal-tail worm -- measures less than an inch long, but the invasive species is impacting the ecology of the boreal forest in Alberta. CREDIT Photo courtesy of Erin Cameron, University of Alberta.

This small worm — Dendrobaena octaedra, sometimes called the octagonal-tail worm — measures less than an inch long, but the invasive species is impacting the ecology of the boreal forest in Alberta.
Photo courtesy of Erin Cameron, University of Alberta.

The Ohio State University via EurekAlert:

COLUMBUS, Ohio–An international research team is bringing a new weapon to bear against invasive earthworms.

The ongoing research project at The Ohio State University, the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University uses statistical analysis to forecast one worm species’ spread, in hopes of finding ways to curtail it.

Most recently, they’ve focused on the boreal forest of northern Alberta. No native worms live in the forest whatsoever; the region had been worm-free since the last ice age 11,000 years ago, until invasive European species began working their way across the United States and Canada. The worms have only recently invaded Alberta.

In the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, the researchers project that by 2056, one of those invasive species–Dendrobaena octaedra, sometimes called the octagonal-tail worm–will expand its territory from 3 percent of the Alberta boreal forest to 39 percent.

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Giant African Snails Confiscated at LAX Airport

Photo of apertural view of the shell of Achatina achatina

Photo of apertural view of the shell of Achatina achatina


via The Los Angeles Times:

Two picnic baskets packed with 67 live giant African snails were seized by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said Monday.

The snails, which weighed a total of more than 35 pounds and reportedly were intended for human consumption, was apparently the largest seizure at LAX of the mollusks, which are sometimes fried and served as a snack.

The snails were discovered July 1 in two picnic baskets, which weighed more than 35 pounds, said Lee Harty of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The snails arrived from Lagos, Nigeria, and were headed to San Dimas, she said.

According to Wikipedia, these snails (formally known as the Achatina achatina) are often kept as pets by Westerners and are “routinely confiscated by quarantine authorities at US airports − especially Baltimore, Dulles, JFKIA, and San Francisco.” These giant snails are considered an invasive species and can wreak havoc on non-native ecosystems.… Read the rest

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Meet The Asian Giant Hornet. Soon.

PIC: Mgigantius (CC)

PIC: Mgigantius (CC)

Warmer weather and international trade are introducing these thumb-sized hornets to new habitats around the globe. They’re already in Europe. Next stop? Maybe a shrub or old tree stump near your home!

In recent years, Vespa m. populations have exploded in parts of China, where 42 people died and more than 1,600 were injured from hornet attacks in 2013, alone.

Attracted by human sweat, and disturbed by human activity (particularly running), the hornets vigorously defend their territory, chasing people up to 600 feet and stinging them multiple times with their very toxic venom that can cause: “Anaphylactic shock and renal failure. One of the victims . . . said she has spent two months in a hospital undergoing 13 dialysis treatments. . . . She has 200 stiches, but still cannot move her legs. She told . . . a news agency . . . ‘They hit right at my head and covered my legs.

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Man-Made Global Warming is Natural


More about Florida’s population of Invasive Nile monitors: http://bit.ly/jDrTMz

Whatever man made global warming is, it’s not artificial: The root of “artificial” is artifice, which implies intelligence, art and skill. Global warming, recently re-branded as “Climate Change” is obviously man-made or “anthropocentric” if you want to get all Greek and science-y about it. But, the point is there is no art or skill behind it. Its obviously an unintended consequence of Industrialization and its concomitant heavy use of Fossil fuels.

Global warming is presented by elite circles in academia and governance (as opposed to industry) as an evil: That much is clear. Every good democrat knows by now just how hard global warming is on cartoon polar bear. More recently, global warming was given a cost in dollar amounts to make it perfectly clear just how horribly bad it is.

Here is a particularly ridiculous example.

Dollar amounts like 60 trillion always make me laugh.… Read the rest

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Florida Launches ‘2013 Python Challenge’

Picture: CGrapes429 (PD): Burmese Python in Florida Everglades

Rednecks: When you absolutely, positively, got to kill every motherf*ckin’ python in the swamp, accept no substitutes.

Via CNN:

Burmese pythons have been threatening Florida’s ecosystem for years, so the state is turning to the public for help in the form of a hunting contest to cull the population.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced the 2013 Python Challenge beginning in January.
“We are hoping to gauge from the python challenge the effectiveness of using an incentive-based model as a tool to address this problem,” says Florida Wildlife Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson.

A grand prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the person who kills the most pythons, and $1,000 will go to the person who bags the longest one. According to the rules, road kill will not be eligible.

Participants will pay a $25 registration fee and complete an online training course.

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Rock, Rock, Rock Python!

According to the UK’s Mirror News, a couple on safari picked up an unwanted hitchhiker: a 16 foot-long rock python. The car’s owner flipped the hood and waited for it to exit the vehicle, thereby crossing what I call the “Oh, hell no!” barrier.

Rock pythons are a relatively common form of constrictor found in Africa’s tropical jungles, where they commonly reach lengths of 20 feet. While the rock python, like most snakes, normally avoids contact with human beings, when cornered they can quickly become aggressive. There are several documented incidences of the species killing and even consuming people, mostly children. Despite this, they’re readily available in the American pet trade, a fact that came under national scrutiny following the 2009 death of a two year-old child that was strangled in her bed by her mother’s boyfriend’s escaped python.

Rock pythons, like several other breeds of exotic constrictors, have established breeding populations in the Florida everglades.… Read the rest

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Found in Florida: Record-Breaking Burmese Python Pregnant with 87 Eggs

Picture: CGrapes429 (PD)

Via LiveScience:

Burmese pythons have settled into the Florida Everglades quite nicely, and it seems that they’re not going to be leaving any time soon. Thanks to irresponsible pet owners, the massive snakes have established a breeding population and are eating their way through native wildlife with merry abandon. Check out this worrisome discovery:

A double record-setting Burmese python has been found in the Florida Everglades. At 17 feet, 7 inches (5.3 me

ters) in length, it is the largest snake of its kind found in the state and it was carrying a record 87 eggs. Scientists say the finding highlights how dangerously comfortable the invasive species has become in its new home.

The snake was almost 165 pounds, easily big enough to kill a human being. Researchers say that they find several every day that they go into the Everglades. Think you’ll be python-free as long as you stay away from Florida?… Read the rest

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