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Invasive Species

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NEWS
March 29, 2015 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
AVALON - It seems everyone wants to save Armacost Park. But just how to accomplish the continued preservation of the 11-acre maritime forest - which experts say has been deteriorating for decades because of invasive vines and other non-native plant species - may be debatable. So a handful of residents, who say they want nothing done to change the park, carried handmade signs and held a news conference Friday afternoon in the rain and biting wind to make their point. "If the environment of the park is destroyed, the migrant birds won't be able to use it for nourishment and a stopover point," said Terry Master, an ornithology expert and professor of biological sciences at East Stroudsburg University, who was brought in by the residents to investigate the issue and speak to the media.
NEWS
October 11, 2011 | By Tracie Cone, Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. - Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation's food supply. At the time, hundreds of agricultural scientists responsible for stopping invasive species at the border were reassigned to antiterrorism duties in the newly formed Homeland Security Department - a move scientists say cost billions of dollars in crop damage and eradication efforts.
NEWS
March 11, 2004 | By Dave Boyer
The day after federal authorities served Gov. McGreevey's office last week with a subpoena probing Democratic fund-raising, McGreevey's staff found time to issue this reassuring news release: "Governor Forms Invasive Species Council. " The governor cited threats from unruly plants, insects, "and other organisms not native to our own state" - apparently not a reference to federal prosecutors. McGreevey announced the creation of a council to devise a plan "to combat these dangerous invaders.
NEWS
July 16, 2007 | By Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For several years, foresters and entomologists have watched with horror - and dread - as a half-inch green bug spread outward from Detroit, leaving 25 million dead ash trees behind. Survey crews from Michigan to Pennsylvania stalked the forests; if it showed up, they wanted to know. Three weeks ago in western Pennsylvania, two surveyors pulled to the side of the road and got out of their car. "Stand still," said one, noticing an iridescent insect on the other's back. The emerald ash borer had landed.
NEWS
September 25, 2008 | By Allison Steele INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
State wildlife officials have found a Camden County lake infested with Asian swamp eels, an invasive species that could threaten other area wildlife. The snake-like creatures, known to live in only three other states in the country, were discovered in Gibbsboro's Silver Lake by a student in May. When the state learned of his discovery, members of the Division of Fish and Wildlife identified the creatures. Now officials are investigating how the eels, known to scientists as Monopterus albus, came to be in New Jersey, said Karen Hershey, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection.
NEWS
August 22, 2007 | By Jim Saxton
In beautiful rural South Jersey, the 46,000-acre Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is home to seal colonies, nesting eagles, and the world's fastest birds, peregrine falcons. Many other species of land and marine wildlife inhabit or visit this natural bastion, stretched across Ocean, Burlington and Atlantic Counties, which includes 6,000 acres of designated wilderness areas. It is a refuge in every sense of the word that permanently sets aside habitat amid intense development pressures.
NEWS
July 27, 2007 | By Bill Kunze
The ash tree, a stately specimen that gives our neighborhoods shade and whose wood provides the summertime crack of the baseball bat, is suddenly threatened by a beetle no larger than the face of a penny. A thumbnail-sized mussel now endangers the plentiful game fish and other aquatic life in the Susquehanna River. This summer's discoveries in Pennsylvania of the emerald ash borer and the zebra mussel, animals native to Europe and Asia, remind us of the growing threat posed by invasive species ? nonnative plants, animals, and microorganisms that spread rapidly and aggressively when introduced to areas beyond their normal ranges.
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Tia Yang, Staff Writer
A long-range experiment is happening in West Philadelphia's Haddington Woods, a 40-acre urban forest, where experts, citizen scientists, and officials hope to find ways to restore and preserve city parklands, and find answers to dealing with invasive species, soil degradation, and even global warming. "All of the [city's] forests are degraded," said Joan Blaustein, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation's director of urban forestry. Haddington Woods, north of the 69th Street Transportation Center and east of Cobbs Creek Golf Club, was chosen as a testing ground because it has some of the most degraded - and some of the healthiest - forests in the city.
NEWS
June 21, 2015 | By Dan McQuade, For The Inquirer
STONE HARBOR, N.J. - Less than 50 years ago, there were more herons than vacationers in southern Stone Harbor. Southern Seven Mile Island was recognized as a "veritable paradise for birds" as early as the late 19th century. As many as 9,000 herons nested at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary in the 1960s and early 1970s - an incredible number for a 21-acre site, according to Wetlands Institute executive director Lenore Tedesco. But by 1983, there were only about 1,000 birds, as the site had fallen victim to overdevelopment and the intrusion of invasive species.
NEWS
October 3, 2004 | By Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The writer for the Scottish Sunday Herald was outraged. "Dull-coated American infiltrators," she huffed. There's not much love on this side of the Atlantic, either, for gray squirrels. The little beasts raid bird feeders and dig up gardens. But at least they're our gray squirrels. In Europe, they're an invasive species, made-in-the-USA imports that are threatening the continent's smaller red squirrels, stealing their nuts, and, scientists fear, infecting them with a fatal virus called parapox.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 1, 2016
Half-Earth Our Planet's Fight for Life By E.O. Wilson Liveright. 272 pp. $25.95 Reviewed by Mike Weilbacher Entomologist Edward O. Wilson, the modern era's Rachel Carson, has an audacious idea that might jump-start a lagging conversation about a burning issue. "I propose," he writes in Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life , "that only by committing half of the planet's surface to nature can we hope to save the immensity of life-forms that compose it. " That's right: Half-Earth asks us to set aside half the world for the rest of creation.
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Tia Yang, Staff Writer
A long-range experiment is happening in West Philadelphia's Haddington Woods, a 40-acre urban forest, where experts, citizen scientists, and officials hope to find ways to restore and preserve city parklands, and find answers to dealing with invasive species, soil degradation, and even global warming. "All of the [city's] forests are degraded," said Joan Blaustein, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation's director of urban forestry. Haddington Woods, north of the 69th Street Transportation Center and east of Cobbs Creek Golf Club, was chosen as a testing ground because it has some of the most degraded - and some of the healthiest - forests in the city.
NEWS
June 21, 2015 | By Dan McQuade, For The Inquirer
STONE HARBOR, N.J. - Less than 50 years ago, there were more herons than vacationers in southern Stone Harbor. Southern Seven Mile Island was recognized as a "veritable paradise for birds" as early as the late 19th century. As many as 9,000 herons nested at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary in the 1960s and early 1970s - an incredible number for a 21-acre site, according to Wetlands Institute executive director Lenore Tedesco. But by 1983, there were only about 1,000 birds, as the site had fallen victim to overdevelopment and the intrusion of invasive species.
NEWS
March 29, 2015 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
AVALON - It seems everyone wants to save Armacost Park. But just how to accomplish the continued preservation of the 11-acre maritime forest - which experts say has been deteriorating for decades because of invasive vines and other non-native plant species - may be debatable. So a handful of residents, who say they want nothing done to change the park, carried handmade signs and held a news conference Friday afternoon in the rain and biting wind to make their point. "If the environment of the park is destroyed, the migrant birds won't be able to use it for nourishment and a stopover point," said Terry Master, an ornithology expert and professor of biological sciences at East Stroudsburg University, who was brought in by the residents to investigate the issue and speak to the media.
NEWS
February 8, 2013
By Charles Lane Former President George W. Bush's dog Barney has gone to that great kennel club in the sky. But I'll bet Barney died smiling. He lived to see the day when humans finally acknowledged that cats are a menace. In fact, government-affiliated scientists have produced statistical proof of feline perfidy, in a new study showing that cats stalk and kill 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals in the United States each year, give or take a few billion. This "kill rate" is two to four times higher than previously believed, and worse than that attributable to windmills, cars, and other "anthropogenic" threats.
NEWS
March 26, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Tom Barkman, a Bedford County dairy farmer, got a shock one morning a few years ago when a 15-acre section of his just-planted cornfield was ripped to shreds, the seeds gone. The culprits, he would soon find out: a group, or sounder, of feral swine, 300-pound crop consumers that destroy most everything in their path. They were escapees, he believed, from a neighboring game-hunting preserve. So Barkman, who owns 600 acres in Clearview, 100 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, replanted the field - not once but two more times, before grabbing his shotgun and finally staking out his field.
NEWS
March 24, 2012 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
One look at those big teeth and that eel-like body, and Gary Stolz knew: A northern snakehead had been caught in a tidal area of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. The three-pound, 24-inch fish was caught Thursday, on the west side of Route 420. It meant that this odd and ugly invasive species, so bizarre it's been dubbed "frankenfish," was continuing its slow but sure colonization of the region's waterways. Whether it fits seamlessly into the food chain of the region or its voracious appetite for fish, frogs, and even small mammals allows it to take over the aquatic ecosystem is still a matter of conjecture.
NEWS
October 11, 2011 | By Tracie Cone, Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. - Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation's food supply. At the time, hundreds of agricultural scientists responsible for stopping invasive species at the border were reassigned to antiterrorism duties in the newly formed Homeland Security Department - a move scientists say cost billions of dollars in crop damage and eradication efforts.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2009 | By Wendy Rosenfield FOR THE INQUIRER
There's no real name for the genus from which Carole Lonner's The Kids Left. The Dog Died. Now What? springs, but there is little doubt that it's born of an invasive species. Carried on the winds from town to town, some varieties are hardier than others and take root for months while others blow in and out in a week, but they all share a few common characteristics. Look for four or so actors (usually two heterosexual couples, but occasionally all women); a collection of scenes - rather than a fully developed plot - that serve mostly as prompts for tunes humorous or wistful; and dialogue that trades on mere recognition of specific demographic touchpoints rather than insight or wit. Benign ground cover or noxious weed?
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