Alien Species Slips Across the Border

When it comes to keeping non-native plants and animals out of
the country, the first line of defense is inspection. But the United
States
Department of Agriculture recently got a scare, when a noxious weed
slipped through the cracks and ended up for sale at stores around the
country. But will the incident change the way the USDA operates? The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Appreciating the Exotics

If you live in a city or a suburb, chances are that you see non-native
species every day. They might be birds originally from Europe, or a
tree imported from Asia. They’re almost always referred to as pests and
weeds. Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator, Chuck Staresinic
, suggests that instead of despising these invaders,
perhaps we should admire them. At the very least, we should get used to
them:

Beetle Controls Purple Loosestife

A European plant called purple loosestrife is increasingly making
itself at home near lakes, wetlands, and meadows throughout the Great
Lakes region. That’s bad news for native plants that are pushed out by
the aggressive newcomer. But help could be on the way. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tracy Samilton reports on a program to
introduce a loosestrife-munching beetle:

Zebra Mussels Affect Drinking Water

Researchers know zebra mussels have altered the Great Lakes. They
believe those changes are not finished. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports… the invasive species might be
upsetting the food chain and making tap water drawn from the lakes taste
bad:

The Business of Fish Management

  • Similar scenes can be found up and down the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

Now that summer’s officially here, beaches around the region are packed with
tourists and locals. But this year many beaches have been plagued with
unwanted visitors: tens of thousands of dead fish in the water and on the
sand. It’s a revolting sight-and smell – but in fact, the fish play an
important role in the lakes…and present an ongoing management challenge to
biologists. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson explains:

Exotics Invading Your Garden

Non-native plants like the wood rose, Japanese barberry and English ivy
are found in many gardens around the country. Gardeners love them
because they’re beautiful. But author and certified master gardener
Janet Marinelli says people don’t realize how harmful these plants can
be. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly spoke with Marinelli
about her findings:

Honey Bees Face Another Threat

A new threat to honey bees that had been isolated to four southern
states has just been spotted in the Great Lakes region……and
agriculture officials are warning beekeepers to be on the lookout. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill Cohen has more:

Exotic Species Conference

Zebra mussels are the best known exotic species, but a whole host of
other nuisance invaders are causing headaches around the Great Lakes.
At a conference this week (April 26-30) in Duluth, scientists from
around the world will share recent research and strategize about how to
deal with exotic species. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie
Hemphill reports:

Bird Repellant

  • Birds roost in nooks and crannies of ornate buildings such as the Illinois capitol. Cleaning up their droppings and repairing damage they cause costs tens of millions of dollars each year.

Armed with spikes, electronic devices, cages, and cannons… building
maintenance supervisors across the nation try to protect their buildings
from being invaded. If they fail, the cost could be damage to the
building or to property inside. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Leeches Stuck in Sport Fishing Battle

Another skirmish is erupting in the ongoing battle between Ontario and
Minnesota over sport fishing. Ontario recently banned the importation
of leeches without a permit. The reason – the Province says it doesn’t
want to risk exotic species piggy-backing on the popular bait. But as
the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill reports, experts
on controlling exotic species say the reasoning is faulty: