From the category archives:

Field Notes

When Conservation Means Killing

September 29, 2015

Herbicides and insecticides are key tools in managing invasive species — but managers are working to find more environmentally friendly substitutes. Read more about it here. And remember that prevention is the best practice: “I try to get the message out to staff, scientists or anyone . . . to make sure they’re not tracking [...]

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    8 Invasive Species You Should Be Eating

    July 16, 2015

    If you can’t beat ’em, eat ‘em. Foragers turn to eating invasive species as a means of control. Lisa Munniksma reports on eating invasive species in hobbyfarms.com.

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      To Stop West Nile, Go Native

      July 15, 2015

      When contemplating the harm caused by invasive species, the imagination usually stops at fairly direct effects: an introduced predator decimates hapless prey; invasive weeds choke out native plants. But hacking around in the shrubbery a bit — literally — reveals that native and invasive species also have subtler pros and cons. Certain species of invasive [...]

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        Eat Your Way to a Better Ecosystem

        July 11, 2015

        Eat the Invaders on The List. Why eat invasive species? 1. They’re tasty. 2. You learn about the local environment. 3. Invasive populations decline. Our appetites can make a difference.

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          These Invasive Catfish Are Destroying the Chesapeake—and They’re Delicious

          June 22, 2015

          “Across the board, biodiversity is being affected,” says Sharon Feuer Gruber of the blue catfish invasion. The Wide Net Project aims to take on this invader in Chesapeake Bay. Read more at Yahoo Food.

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            Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition

            June 21, 2015

            “Education, mitigation, utilization.” Join the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition to help educate the public and encourage the consumption of lionfish in restaurants and seafood markets. Read more about the coalition here.

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              Appetite for Destruction

              June 6, 2015

              Night after night, the same scene plays out at Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut. A few less-than-courageous patrons spend minutes gawking at the menu before turning around and walking right back out the door. Read more about putting invasives on the menu in Hemispheres Magazine.

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                Green Crabs Are Multiplying. Should We Eat the Enemy?

                May 28, 2015

                How to turn the pleasing ocean flavor of green crabs into a profit for crabbers and a new way to control the invaders? Read more about cooking green crabs here.

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                  Pressure Builds for Swift U.S. Action Against Spreading Salamander Threat

                  May 19, 2015

                  There are signs of hope for American salamanders in the face of a potential biological catastrophe — a fungus that could be carried here through the global trade in exotic pets. The tool for protecting native salamanders is the Lacey Act, which was recently used to limit trade in various constricting snakes and has been [...]

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                    Invasive Species Poster

                    March 23, 2015

                    Free download here.

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                      Land

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                      Wild Pig

                      Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to…


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                        Garden Snail

                        Deliberately or accidentally, by the movement of plants and by hobbyists who collect snails, humans have spread the garden snail to temperate and subtropical zones around the world.


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                          Prickly Pear

                          Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.


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                            Sow Thistle

                            It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.


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                              Lamb’s Quarters

                              Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]


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                                Asian Shore Crab

                                The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .


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                                  Periwinkle

                                  The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .


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                                    Lionfish

                                    Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…


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                                      Wakame

                                        Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]


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                                        Green Crab

                                        Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…


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                                          Armored Catfish Meatballs (1)

                                          Armored Catfish

                                          The armored catfish is abundant and destructive in Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Cast your nets for these flavorful natives of the Amazon. Scientific name: Two types have become established in North America: armadillo del rio, Hypostomus plecostomus, and sailfin catfishes in genus Pterygoplichthys Native range: Amazon River Basin Invasive range: Texas, Florida, and Hawaii; also [...]


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                                            Common Carp

                                            For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. If the water is clean, and you’ve got corn for bait, try one of these recipes.


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                                              Watercress

                                                Nasturtium officianale Native Range: Northern Africa, Europe, temperate Asia, and India Invasive Range: In USA: all lower 48 states, except North Dakota. Found in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Also southern Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australasia, and parts of tropical Asia. Habitat: Common along stream margins, ditches, and other areas with [...]


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                                                Crayfish

                                                  There are numerous invasive crayfish. We include details for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the rusty crayfish (Orenectes rusticus). The same recipes can be used for both species–and many other invasive crayfish. Red Swamp Crayfish Native range: Known as Louisiana crayfish, crawdad, and mudbug, Procambarus clarkii is native to the south central [...]


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                                                  Nutria

                                                  Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .


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                                                    Field Notes

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                                                    The Alien Aesthetic

                                                    Patterson Clark turns invasive plants into art. As a volunteer for the National Park Service, he got an idea: “One day, when I was pulling a plant, I thought, how can I change my relationship with this plant so that it’s not just eradication, taking something’s life? Since then, I’ve been harvesting invasive plants, rather [...]


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                                                      The Lionfish Market

                                                      In a sign that the eat-the-invaders movement continues to gain steam, the University of West Florida’s College of Business is offering a course on marketing the highly invasive lionfish to consumers. Read more about it here.


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                                                        New Species Invade Campus Dining

                                                        Inspired by the work of the Eat the Invaders project, UVM Dining and the University of Vermont Real Food Working Group hosted a dinner featuring edible invasive species.


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                                                          Invasive Herbs for Herbal Tea

                                                          The ingredients for many herbal teas, including lemon balm, mint, and nettles, have become naturalized in the United States. RateTea reviews a few of them here.


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                                                            Can Markets Handle Invasive Species?

                                                            Marketing campaigns are underway to spur demand for the flaky white fillets of lionfish. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation has published a cookbook in an attempt to get people to realize that lionfish is an option for dinner. Whole Foods has hosted “Take a Bite Out of Lionfish”: live filleting and cooking demos and lionfish [...]


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                                                              Did you hear that, pal? She wants to borrow a carving knife. I never thought I’d end up a blue-plate special.

                                                              Ralph Kramden, The Honeymooners