Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Forest Service Eastern Region - BMP Guide

Invasive Species-Eastern Region (R9) NNIS Program

March 13, 2013: The Eastern Region is proud to announce release of Non-Native Invasive Species Best Management Practices, Guidance for the U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Region.
If you would like more information, please contact Jan Schultz, Botany NNIS Special Forest Products Pr. Leader, at 414-297-1189 or

Monday, March 11, 2013

Article on the Calumet Conservation Corps

Here is nice article about a great program that deals with invasive species, the Calumet Conservation Corps.

Original article:

Upcoming NRCS Webinar on Wetland Invasive Plants

Please find below conference details for the upcoming NRCS Biology Webinar, “Why Some Wetland Plants Are Invasive and How They Affect Restoration” on March 26th, 2013 at 1-2:30 pm (CST).

The presenter will be Susan M. Galatowitsch, Ph.D. (Professor, Restoration Ecology, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul MN;; Telephone: 612.624.3242).

Dr. Galatowitsch states, “The proportion of wetland restoration projects affected by invasive species is likely very high. Either invasive species are present at the start of a project and their removal is attempted during site preparation or they arrive soon after, as the site adjusts to its new hydrology and vegetative cover is minimal. If the goals of a restoration project are narrowly focused on flood abatement or water quality improvement, the presence of invasive species is a minor concern. If, however, the desire is to achieve multiple benefits, including the restoration of plant biodiversity, then invasive species control is a priority. Plant communities influence nutrient cycling and food webs, provide food and habitat structure to animals, and contribute to a wetland ecosystem’s aesthetic appeal. Consequently, the restoration of a wetland’s plant communities is often considered crucial to project success. Understanding why a particular wetland plant is invasive can help frame practical restoration decisions, such as selecting effective control strategies and evaluating the commitment needed to accomplish control.”

The target audience for this webinar is NRCS field staffs and partners engaged in restoration and management of wetlands and associated uplands.Please find below instructions for joining the webinar. We will record the webinar and post it to the NRCS Biologists’ SharePoint Site and S&T Library in the event that you are unable to participate in the live webinar.

Entry Instructions

NRCS Biology Webinar – “Why Some Wetland Plants Are Invasive and How They Affect Restoration”Event Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013Event Start Time: 1:00 PM Central Time (CT) - Chicago/DallasEvent Length: 1-1.5 hoursEvent Capacity: 1500 Attendees
Participant Instructions

The web conference is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM Central Time on March 26, 2013. You may join the web conference 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start by clicking

Webinar Login:

Dial-in: After you’ve connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented

If you need technical support or additional information regarding our events, please visit our portal at or contact AT&T Connect Support at 1-888-796-6118

If you are unable to join the web conference from a computer, you can find audio only instructions at
Preparing your computer.

If you do not prepare ahead, please join 15 minutes before the session begins as the AT&T Connect Participant Software will be loaded as you join the event.
Please use this link to prepare your computer:   Computer Configuration Notes
  • The AT&T Connect software requires a Windows PC (not MAC).
  • We recommend connecting with Internet Explorer V7 or FireFox V3.5 or newer.
  • If you do not regularly delete Temporary Internet Files, it is recommended that you do this prior to installing the software
  • If you run 'Pop-Up Blocking Software' you may need to disable or allow a pop up during installation on your system
  • We recommend a using a monitor with a minimum resolution of 1024x768.

Friday, March 1, 2013

White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Illinois Bats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              
February 28, 2013         

(217) 785-8764

Ann Froschauer (FWS)
White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Illinois Bats
Illinois becomes 20th state in U.S. to confirm deadly disease in bats
Springfield, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today confirmed the presence of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease fatal to several bat species, in four Illinois counties. 
The University of Illinois- Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), the United States Forest Service (USFS)-Shawnee National Forest, the University of Illinois' Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UIVDL), and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center-Madison, WI (NWHC) assisted in the discovery of WNS which was detected in LaSalle County in north-central Illinois, Monroe County in southwestern Illinois, and Hardin and Pope Counties in extreme southern Illinois. 
Little brown bats and northern long-eared bats from these counties were submitted to the UIVDL and NWHC in early-to-mid February 2013.  Both of these laboratories confirmed the disease, while the fungal pathogen was isolated directly from a LaSalle County bat and a Monroe County bat at the INHS.  
With confirmation of WNS in Illinois, a total of 20 states, mostly in the eastern U.S., and five Canadian Provinces have now been confirmed infected.  Currently seven hibernating bat species are affected by WNS: little brown bat, big brown bat, northern long-eared bat, tri-colored bat, eastern small-footed bat, the endangered Indiana bat, and the endangered gray bat. The disease continues to spread rapidly and has the potential to infect at least half of the bat species found in North America.
White-nose syndrome is not known to affect people, pets, or livestock but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats, killing 90 percent or more of some species of bats in caves where the fungus has lasted for a year or longer, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WNS is known to be transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but spores of Geomyces destructans, the non-native, cold-loving fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, may be inadvertently carried between caves and abandoned mines by humans on clothing, footwear, and caving gear.  The name of the disease refers to the white fungal growth often found on the noses of infected bats. 
White-nose syndrome was first detected in New York State in 2006 and has killed more than 5.7 million cave-dwelling bats in the eastern third of North America as it has spread south and west
across the landscape. A map of the current spread of white-nose syndrome can be found at

Research has shown that WNS-infected bats are awaking from hibernation as often as every three to four days as opposed to the normal every 10-20 days. The fungus damages the connective tissues, muscles and skin of the bats while also disrupting their physiological functions. The bats wake up dehydrated and hungry during the cold winters when there are no insects to eat.
"Although its arrival was anticipated, the documented spread of WNS into Illinois is discouraging news, mainly because there is no known way to prevent or stop this disease in its tracks,” said Joe Kath, Endangered Species Manager for the IDNR. 
“Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S. agricultural industry several billion dollars a year, and yet insectivorous bats are among the most overlooked, economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America.”
“Isolating the fungal pathogen directly from a bat is the ‘gold standard’ for confirming this disease, and the Bat WNS team at the University of Illinois was able to do this in our laboratory,” said Andrew Miller, Mycologist at INHS. 
“We are saddened by the discovery of WNS in Illinois,” said National WNS Coordinator Jeremy Coleman of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  “We will continue to work with our partners to address this devastating disease and work towards conservation of bat species in North America.”
Because Illinois and several other Midwestern states are home to many federally endangered bat species, as well as some of the largest hibernating bat populations in the country, the complete closure of all IDNR-owned and/or managed caves within the State of Illinois was enacted in 2010.  In addition, all caves within the Shawnee National Forest, managed by the USFS, have been formally closed since 2009.  Both the IDNR and USFS will be evaluating these caves on an annual basis and the closure orders will remain in effect for the benefits of bat conservation until further notice.  Unfortunately, research indicates that the fungus that causes WNS remains in caves where bats hibernate even when bats are not present and the IDNR remains concerned that people may inadvertently carry WNS out of the caves with them.  
“The IDNR recognizes that continued cave closures will require patience from the caving community and other citizens.  However, the observed devastation to bat populations and the evidence for human-assisted spread justifies that we exercise an abundance of caution in managing activities that impact caves and bats,” Kath added. “We understand these measures will not be a cure for WNS, but they are necessary to help slow the spread of this affliction and to reduce the risks to surviving bat populations in North America.”
Bats are the only major predator of night-flying insects and play a crucial role in the environment. A single big brown bat can eat between 3,000 and 7,000 mosquitos in a night, with large populations of bats consuming thousands of tons of potentially harmful forest and agricultural pests annually. The bat conservation community is deeply concerned and involved with fighting the spread of WNS. Researchers in Illinois and across the U.S. are working diligently on finding a way to mitigate this fatal disease. Federal, state and local organizations continue to focus on conservation, containment, and education.