Blue Plate Special: Prickly Pear
Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.
Blue Plate Special: Sow Thistle
It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.
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 [...]
Foeniculum vulgare Native range: Mediterranean, from Turkey west to Spain and Morocco Invasive range: Much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you. Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, along the edge of wild habitats. Rocky shores [...]
Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]
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…
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 [...]
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 . . .
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 . . .
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…
Red Swamp Crayfish
Procambarus clarkii Native range: Red Swamp Crayfish, also known as Louisiana Crayfish, Crawdad, and Mudbug, is native to the south central United States and northeastern Mexico. Invasive range: Widely introduced throughout the United States including Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Populations have [...]
His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…
“They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…
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. . .
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. One catching sewage or…
Green Crab Shell Secret Cracked
Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada claim to have found a way to enhance molting in green crabs. If they can scale this up, and drum up interest by local chefs, they may just start a market for softshell invaders. Read more here.
Harvest the Invaders: Incentives to Control Invasive Species
Biologists Susan Pasko and Jason Goldberg discuss harvesting invaders in a new paper in Management of Biological Invasions. Incentive programs, such as bounties and encouraging recreational harvests, appear to be appropriate for certain species and regions. Among the many benefits is the development of an outreach program. “By engaging the public and encouraging harvest,” the [...]
An App to Find Nemo
“Creating a consumer market for invasive species is one of the most successful ways of combatting them. Like cupcakes or artisanal pickles, it can take a lot of marketing and hype to create a demand that matches the supply. The Connecticut chef Bun Lai’s invasive-species menu, which Elizabeth Kolbert wrote about in 2012, includes lionfish [...]
Hunting for Alien Bug and Seed Invaders at Baltimore’s Port
The fight against invaders starts at seaports and airports across the world. Listen to the NPR story here.
Attack of the Green Crabs
Green crabs on the move in Maine and the Maritimes. Watch the movie here.
“What is being lost? The answer is easy. A precious and irreplaceable part of Florida’s, and the nation’s, heritage is disappearing. Plants, animals, and entire ecosystems that took tens of thousands to millions of years to evolve are at risk. What is being gained in their place? A hodgepodge of species found in other parts of the world. . . . Florida is being homogenized, and everyone, for all time to come, will be the poorer for it.”