Archive for the ‘Invasive Species’ Category

Jul25

Insect defense report card

Shipping Containers

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During last spring’s report card season, a little known government program received its grades. The program is aimed at defending our nation against the imported insects and diseases that harm trees, forests, and local economies. (more…)

Jun10

The referee called “foul”

barnacles on pier

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As a child, I remember looking with some fascination at barnacles on the piers in a Cape Cod harbor, and reading about how their growth on the bottoms of boats so slowed their progress in the water that dry-docking for barnacle removal was a common practice.  Growths of marine organisms on hard surfaces fall under the general term biofouling. (more…)

Jun06

Beefalo

Beefalo

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In the early 1900s, a rancher conducted a breeding experiment that resulted in a cattle-buffalo hybrid called beefalo. Also known as cattalo, the unruly animals still exist and are now causing major problems in Arizona. (more…)

Mar27

What’s all the talk about mute swans?

Mute Swan

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In the late 1800s, mute swans were brought from Europe to the eastern U.S. to enhance the beauty of ponds on private estates.  Unlike the dark-billed native swans that migrate through our region in the spring and fall, mute swans are easily distinguished by their pinkish-orange bills. They also spend the entire year here.  (more…)

Mar03

A mosquito fever expands its range

Asian Tiger Mosquito

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A mosquito-borne virus that causes fever, headaches, and severe joint pain has spread to the Caribbean. Experts fear it’s only a matter of time before it makes its way to the U.S. Chikungunya gets its name from an East African word meaning ‘that which bends,’ due to the posture of its sufferers. (more…)

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