ALERT! Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Arkansas

The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Arkansas State Plant Board have confirmed that the emerald ash borer (EAB), has been found in three counties along Interstate 30. The pest was detected in traps placed in Hot Springs, Clark, and Nevada counties and the identification was confirmed by state entomologists. EAB is now present in 24 states in the US and two Canadian provinces.  

The emerald ash borers were detected as part of a cooperative survey program between the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, the Arkansas State Plant Board and Arkansas Agriculture Department. The cooperative survey consists of placing traps and inspecting ash trees for emerald ash borer damage.

Arkansas State and federal personnel will now survey trees in the areas surrounding the initial finds to determine the extent of the infestation. It is expected that a federal quarantine will be expanded to parts or all of Arkansas to stop the spread. 

To prevent the spread of this beetle and other pests, do not transport firewood from one location to another. When traveling, buy local firewood where you burn it. For more information on preventing movement of pests, visit

Learn more about the detection in Arkansas at Arkansas Invasives.

Photo credits: Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture,

Photo credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,
Stop Hungry Pests -- Clean Boots, Gear and Tires When Recreating

In the height of summer, invasive species have a greater chance of being moved through outdoor human activity.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has launched a new video in the Hungry Pests' series to increase awareness of these pests, which damage America's crops, parks and forests. 

Specifically, this new video asks those enjoying the great outdoors to please clean their boots, gear and tires before returning home. 

Watch this short video to learn how to enjoy the outdoors without transporting invasive pests or their eggs to new areas

Follow this link to learn more about Hungry Pests.


Image credits: USDA - Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service

Invasive Spotlight:
(Pterois volitans/miles)

Two virtually identical species of lionfish (P. volitans and P. miles) were introduced into the Atlantic Ocean via the aquarium trade in the 1980's. Since that time, lionfish have invaded from Massachusetts to South America, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

Lionfish are venomous and indigenous to the west Pacific and Indian Ocean. Adults can live up to 10 years and can grow to a length of 19 inches. The species are known to be aggressive feeders and breed quickly, in some climates they can breed throughout the year. When well established, densities can reach over 200 adults per acre. 

Recently, a sixth-grader's project for her school's science fair made waves among academics studying the lionfish invasion. The 12 year-old from Jupiter Florida investigated how far lionfish might travel into less salty waters like river mouths. Shockingly, the student showed that lionfish can survive in far less salinity than scientists predicted--suggesting that more waters could become infested with lionfish. Read more about this research at Science Alert.

Follow this link to learn more about Lionfish.
Photo credit: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,

Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program
More News

USDA Multi-agency Citrus Greening Group Requests Suggestions from Public
The United States Department of Agriculture's Huanglongbing (also known as citrus greening) Multi-agency Coordination Group (HLB MAC), led by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has announced the launch of the Stakeholder Project Suggestion System for the public to submit citrus greening related research suggestions for potential funding. Learn more about the potential funding and HLB MAC by visiting the USDA APHIS Newsroom

Research Shows Long-term Benefits to Removing Privet from Forests
A five-year study conducted by US Forest Service researcher has indicated that a thorough removal can last at least five years without a follow-up and that native plant and animal communities steadily return to areas cleared of the invasive shrub. The study investigated treatment methods and also monitored the return of pollinators and other native species.  Learn more at Southern Research Station CompassLive

A New Recreational Travel Model Helps Stop Invasive Insects within Firewood
The role of humans in the spread of invasive insects is well documented and can often occur with movement of firewood. A new US Forest Service study provides a new model for anticipating the most likely route of human assisted spread, providing natural resource managers new ways to enhance surveys and public education efforts. Learn more at Southern Research Station CompassLive

Giant Salvinia Weevil Greenhouse Begins Production at Caddo Lake
After successfully navigating many hurdles, the Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas has started weevil production at the Morley Hudson Greenhouse in Uncertain, Texas. With funding from community events and a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the facility will raise giant salvinia weevils for the next two years. Read More at ArkLaTex

Vermont's Ash Tree Awareness Week a SmASHing Success
During the week of April 27th to May 3, communities across the State of Vermont marked ash trees across the state with purple ribbons and asked their communities to consider, "What is this ash tree worth to you?" The week featured ash tree tagging, ash walks and school outreach events. Learn more at Vermont Invasives. Get involved in protecting and conserving ash trees in Texas! Learn more by visiting the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Giant African Land Snails Intercepted in Los Angeles
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently intercepted nearly 70 of the world's largest and most damaging species at Los Angeles International Airport. The shipment, from Lagos, Nigeria was labeled as Achatina fulica for human consumption. Once detected, the species were confiscated and incinerated. Learn more by visiting the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Invasive Species Cook-off on Outdoor Magazine Bucket List
Hate invasive species, but love food? Consider participating in the Corvallis, Oregon-based, Institute For Applied Ecology's 2014 Eradication by Mastication Invasive Species Cook-off. The event was recently placed on Outdoor Magazine's Adventure Bucket List. This season, internationally celebrated Chef, Philippe Parola holds true to one motto: "Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em!". Learn more at

Invasive Species Workshop Teaches Participants to Spot Invasive Plants
In a recent workshop in Jefferson, Texas, a group of 20 participants were trained by the Texas A&M Forest Service to identify and report invasive plants in East Texas. The Collins Academy joined forces with the Cypress Basin Invaders of Texas group, to learn about invasive species like kudzu, Brazilian peppertree and other species that threaten the area's wildlife. Learn more at The Marshall News Messenger

Fading Forests: Twenty Years of Tracking Non-Native Species
In a collaborative effort between the University of Tennessee and The Nature Conservancy, a new report has been released documenting the latest data and analysis on the introduction, spread, and cost of non-native invasive tree pests and diseases. Findings include the introduction of 28 new tree killing pests, government program reviews and valuation of the private and public resources at risk. Learn more at The Nature Conservancy

Invasive Species Threaten Texas Lakes
What is the harm in not following the simple clean, drain, dry rules when boating in Texas? Mike Gore, with Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife explains that the damage is catastrophic and illustrates the proper method of drying your watercraft. View the video and learn more at KBTX News

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to

Citizen Scientists of the Month
UT Invaders

The UT Invaders is a novel satellite group based in Austin, Texas and led by Dr. Katie Hansen, a lecturer and research associate with the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. 

As part of a summer high school research program at UT-Austin, 12 students with an interest in ecology became trained to participate as an Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Program satellite group. As part of a larger project that tried to understand invasion resistance, these students worked to identify invasive plants in parks and green spaces across Austin. Since their initial training in June, the students have identified and reported 105 invasive plant populations. 

Thank you UT Invaders! Keep changing the world!

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to


Photo Credit: Dr. Katie Hansen
UT Invaders group from left to right: Christina Land, Vamsi Kotta, Priya Ramamoorthy, Mikayla Colletti, Isabelle Hodge, Lydia Woodruff (Not pictured, Ethan Brown and Sarah Spitler)

Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network which serves to increase the awareness of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.

Workshops are tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for more workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Saturday, August 9, 2014
Location: Texas Lutheran University (Seguin, TX)
Contact: Jim Dyess

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Location: River Legacy Living Science Center (Arlington, TX)
Contact: Registrar

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Location: Austin Downtown REI Store (Austin, TX)
Contact: Joanna Wolaver

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page.