Saturday, November 28, 2009

The boiga irregularis

The brown tree snake is a dangerous invasive species; invasive species is when an organism that is unknown takes over as an alien invader and seriously damages our ecosystem. If the brown tree snake escapes Guam, it has already destroyed 30% of the bird, snake, and lizard species into extinction.
If it continues to spread, it has already got safely to Hawaii safely from boats, if so much as one escapes the whole worlds ecosystem is at risk.
If something was to happen and the snakes got into Hawaii’s national parks, over 95% of their species would go into extinction. The USDA has spent over $1 million dollars to take care of the sitchuation.
But are they getting every last single snake? Well, not the USDA admits, as about one-in-a-half years ago,7 Boiga Irregularis snuck up and hide in dark places then they made it all the way to their destination, Hawaii, they were discovered alive. Also 7 more made it to Ohio but they were found dead.
But before the program people were coming and going and mean while they didn’t even know they were bringing back alien invaders.
The snake can grow up to 8 feet in length. The scientific name of the brown tree snake is the (Boiga Irregularis).It has the ability to become poisonous if it wants to. If it does, it takes five seconds for the poisonous fangs to bit you. Because its fangs are located in the very back so in order to eat, or poison, it must chew on you. The species is nocturnal, which means it’s only active at night. It travels by car, boat and plane.
Well you’re probably asking how a snake can travel by plane.
When a plane lands the wheels come down inside that plane where the wheels come down, there is an 8 foot opening. Perfect place for a snake to travel undetected. The snake simply crawls up them and will the plane takes off and you have a new vacation only it never goes home.

Nathaniel overmyer

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jake Melton 10

The Fight of Purple Loosestrife: North America

By: Jake Melton

November 20, 2009


The Robertson’s have just moved in, there are some beautiful, luscious, purple flowers across the street so; they decide to plant them around their new pond. This plant is the awful, yet beautiful flower: purple loosestrife, an invasive species. Yet, the Robertson’s have no clue what they’re getting themselves into! Invasive species are a horrible thing. The definition of an invasive species is: an organism that harms, or has the potential to harm an environment where the plant did not originate. Sometimes species with this definition can be brought non-intentionally or, possibly intentionally. Sometimes an organism, such as the zebra mussel could latch onto a boat, or get sucked into a boat’s ballast, brought from the sea, and brought into Lake Michigan. In these situations the human did not mean to bring these zebra mussels across, yet they did. Now, let’s say that some scientist figures out that a whale, for example, can kill these dreadful zebra mussels, so they bring in a whole bunch of whales, but these whales just do the same thing as the zebra mussels, invade. So, the scientists have gotten rid one problem, and have started a whole other problem. These scientists intentionally brought in the whales to destroy the zebra mussels; this is a case where humans intentionally brought in an invader. An ecosystem can be harmed by invasive species. One way this could happen if, let’s say a zebra mussel, comes in and eats all of the plankton. If all the plankton die out every animal that eats the plankton are now without food and could starve to death. This tragic accident would make the whole food web collapse. Well, you might be asking: why don’t people just destroy all these invasive species? First, usually an invasive organism is plentiful in number and cannot be overtaken by humans. Second, people do try, for plants they try to burn, mow, or even desperately hand-pull. Just a few examples of these invasive species are organisms such as asian carp, cane toad, garlic mustard, zebra mussels, and africanized honey bees.

The purple loosestrife’s natural habitat is throughout Great Britain, in Central and Southern Europe, Central Russia, Japan, Manchuria, China, Southeast Asia, and Northern India. These areas are more generally flat and swampy; the climates of these regions are moist. Most moist locations, such as fresh water marshes, fens, sedges, meadows, and wet prairies, along with roadside ditches, river and stream banks, reservoirs, and even the edges of road sides can hold purple loosestrife. This plant is also rather shade tolerant, being able to survive in up to 50% shade. Leaf eating insects along with three species of beetles: are purple loosestrife’s natural predators.

Lythrum salicaria, or purple loosestrife is an herbaceous perennial plant with five to seven lance shaped, rose-purple flowers that are opposite or in whorls of three that produce over 2 million seeds annually. Some other distanced characteristics of purple loosestrife are the erect, 4-sided stems that flower in early July to early September. These plants can range from two to eight feet tall; averaging out at about five feet a plant, each with a stiff stem. On larger plants the base of the purple loosestrife appears woody. Each rootstock can have as many as 30 to 50 stems growing. Purple loosestrife has a very vicious “attitude”, outcompeting, and taking over other plants and their habitat. This plant replaces grasses, sedges, and other flowering plants. Loosestrifes natural instinct allows it to grow thick, dense, homogeneous strands that restrict other native species. On the other hand purple loosestrife provides a great supply of pollen for pollinating insects.

Purple loosestrife was introduced into the east coast of North America, not to be a bad plant. The Europeans, who brought purple loosestrife over brought it for medicinal uses. They also brought it over to be ornamental, because this plant is very beautiful; so purple loosestrife was obviously not brought over to harm anything, but in fact to be of good use.

Scientist’s are doing their best to prevent the spread of purple loosestrife. This task proves extremely hard. One way they are trying to prevent this is trying to burn them. A second way they are trying to prevent the spreading of purple loosestrife is mowing it. They are trying to cut them all down before they can spread. They are even trying to hand pull them, this is probably the hardest.

So, all over Europe and Asia this plant is a good plant that causes no harm, and the Europeans intended it to be that way in America. Yet, this plant is causing harm and scientist are trying to stop purple loosestrife’s spread by burning, mowing, manipulating the water level, applying chemicals, using biological control, and even hand pulling, and hopefully they will succeed.

Bailey Kolenda 9

Oh No!

It’s The



By Bailey Kolenda



What does make European Starlings one of the most feared little birds of all? Many many reasons. Spreading disease to many livestock, causing oh so much trouble in the fall/spring, and disrupting the peaceful sounds of nature. But where do these unwanted fellow come from, and why do they cause chaos in our everyday North-American lives?

The European Starling is naturally found in the land of Europe. Europe has mild weather. As in North America, European Starlings nest in all types of habitats and under all levels of population. The farms, undisturbed areas, the city, structured trees, and so on. Their natural predators include: Falcons, Squirrels, Hawks, Owls, Snakes, Cats, and other natural bird eating carnivores.

Of course every organism has a description of it’s own, that is why the European Starling can also be referred to as the Sturnus vulgaris. To easily identify this pest, just look for a bird that looks like: Black bird- Robin sized bird with Purplish-greenish head, looks sort of black in the distance, pointed wings, and spotted plumage. Both genders look quite similar from another. Their character can be recognized by a boisterous, loud bird that commonly travel in large groups, and make noises such as rattles, whirs, ad whistles. They can fly very fast.

The European Starling hadn’t always been in North America, of course. It was originally introduced into the ‘New World’ in the 1800s by Eugene Schieffelin and plenty of Shakespeare enthusiasts. They wanted to see a bird from one of Shakespeare's stories in the New World, where they could always see them. In this climate, they could nest in places just as the same in Europe (farms, trees, houses, etc.). The climate in the European Starling’s new home would include a variety of climates and weather all over North America, and with plenty of plains, mountains, and woods to settle in.

Over back in Europe, the European Starling was not a bother at all, but when introduced to North America, all havoc broke loose. The harm and damage caused cost so much to the environments, and to farmers acrossed the country. They destroyed many Vineyards, Crops, Orchards and so on. Spreading disease towards thousands of farms, hurting the economy deeply. They even multiply VERY quickly! That is not good at all. By now, the multiplying has slowed down considerably but they still are of a bother. They are said to in the fall/winter travel in large flocks, causing trouble in the air. There are benefits from these somewhat pesky birds. They eat bugs that are often harmful to crops.

To battle against this abnoxious bird, some methods of fighting them are Pellet guns, cats, repellants, poisons, nets over crops, moving colorful objects such as ribbon, kites, balloons, etc. Moving colorful objects have been found to be very effective.

The diet of the European Starling consists of 50% beetles! Millipedes, spiders, worms and snails. Grains, and seeds, wild black berries, elderberries, and grubs. To a European Starling, this is all so good!

Now you know, and to some may still be a mystery, why and the European Starling does. To this day, they do cause chaos among birds by annoying them, but by now, a lot are adjusted to them.

Kaitlynn Kimmel 8

Rusty Crayfish
Kaitlynn Kimmel

Orconetctes rusticus is an aggressive, invasive, destructive type of crayfish, commonly known as the Rusty Crayfish.
The Orconetctes rusticus is an invasive species to Michigan, New York, New England, Minnesota and Utah. Invasive means not from that area and causing harm to the native environment. It would be like one of us going to the bottom of the ocean and saying; “I like it here, I just need to make a ‘few’ changes” and then destroyed the seabed. (That is an exaggeration, who would do that anyway?)
Orconetctes rusticus is native to southern Indiana northern Kentucky and all of the Ohio River Basin. It lives in fresh water lakes, streams, creeks and places like that. Rusties are eaten by the fish in its native habitat.
Rusties have big claws with dark tips; they are pretty much all big compared to the native species, more aggressive too. They have rusty colored spots on their sides like you picked them up with paint on your thumb and trigger fingers. They feed on aquatic plants. In some lakes these aggressive creatures are so bad people don’t swim in the waters anymore. I know why too, it hurts, a lot, I tried to catch one and it more or less caught me.
The rusty crayfish was brought by fishermen as live bait and were released into the rivers of Minnesota and spread like wild fire, the same thing happened in New England and Utah. Rusties destroy the native plant beds, kill native fish and displace or kill the native crayfish. They cause swimmers not to swim any more. There is no scientific way to get rid of them, not without harming the natives. Otherwise saying, there is nothing scientifically we can do. But we can fish. Yep I said fish. Rusties are good to eat and are definitely plentiful here. In Michigan, you can catch an unlimited amount of them as well as every other state they are invasive.
So grab a line, some ham, and a fishing pole and let’s get started!

Beau Redfield

Autumn Olive
(Elaegaguns umbellata Thund)
By: Beau Redfield
Invasive species are something the world would be better if they were not here. One of many definitions for invasive species is organisms that are non-native and cause harm to native plants, animals, and the environment. Invasive species are usually from across the sea, and harm the native plants, which in turn, harms the environment. An ecosystem might be invaded if you can see many native plants or animals that do well die, or they might start to act strange and/or out of the ordinary. A couple of ways that invasive species can be introduced are by bringing them on purpose, (for environmental purposes) or by accident, like on, or under or, attached to a boat. Just a few ways to fight invasive species are by cutting or pulling the plant out while they are young, or by killing the animal. There are many invasive species; three of them are Round Goby, Zebra Muscles, and Autumn Olive.
The Autumn Olive is naturally and native to Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Its natural climate is usually mild, with some rain, although it is almost drought tolerant. Autumn Olive’s native landscape is open to semi open areas, like fields and meadows. Autumn Olive is usually eaten by birds and raccoons, which eat the berries. The role in its natural habitat is mostly to f\stop erosion and feed animals.
Autumn Olive’s scientific name is Elagagnus umbellate Thumd. It has a very distinct appearance. It is characterized by the tall plant, with simple leaves that have a silvery underside. Berries of the Autumn Olive are very small and reddish with silver spots, yet the deciduous shrub has many trunks and are brown with minute silver spots. Autumn Olive’s behavior is characterized by the soil moister, how many berries it produces, and if it is eaten by a large number of animals, or if a very small number of animals eat it. Have you ever seen a plant like that?
Autumn Olive was introduced into the United States, where it was alien. The climate in this habitat is mild to warm and the geography is open to semi open, with any kind of soil. Autumn Olive was introduced into the United States on purpose for animals, ornamental uses, and erosion control, then, it was rapidly spreading everywhere.
In its natural habitat, Autumn Olive has a role and functions very well, indeed. But, when it is in the United States, it causes harm. Some very destructive ways that Autumn Olive causes harm is by killing native plants, it grows and then spreads very quickly, and it blocks the sun from the other, smaller, native plants.
There are many efforts being taken to control this problem. Tons of scientists are both finding new ways and trying to get rid of the Autumn Olive in many places. Only a few of the many places that Autumn Olive has invaded is Florida, Michigan, Georgia, the New England states, where it first invaded, and Tennessee. There are three ways that scientist are getting rid of Autumn Olive. One is by pulling out the plant when it is young, and the roots have not established yet. Scientist are also cutting the trees at about 6 to 12 inches from the ground, and putting chemicals on the stump, and lastly, using very specific solutions to kill the plant. If you have a very mature plant, please do not pull it out, or it will grow back stronger and will use more energy.
Although there are many invasive species in the United States, Autumn Olive is defiantly one of the worst here. In the natural habitat, Autumn Olive causes no harm at all to any of the native plants, but the Autumn Olive causes great harms here. Some of the reasons are that it spread sooo quickly, killing the native plants and animals. Autumn Olive’s are an invasive species that does critical damage in the United States. There are oodles of scientists are trying to control this problem by killing it and pulling it out until it is gone, or is almost gone from its invaded areas.

Zach Terpstra

Invasive Menace:
The Round Goby

Invasive species are being recognized every day throughout the world. I suppose the main question would be why some non-native species are alien and some invasive? Invasive species are defined as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to alter the ecosystem or economy in a negative way. Invasive species are not considered invasive unless causing harm and has originated from a different area. The invasion usually begins with an organism overpopulating and rapidly consuming resources. Usually, humans are involved in the introduction of invasive species. Some of the ways we help is by bringing them overseas on our cargo ships and passenger ships. Invasive species cause harm by overpopulating and outcompeting the native species. There are many ideas to stop invasive species, but the most common is to use pesticides to harm and kill the invasive species. Although many have introduced a different species that devours the invasive species. Some examples of invasive species are the notorious Purple Loosestrife, the destructive Japanese beetle, and the disgusting Round Goby.
The Round Goby is an aquatic fish that is native to the Black and Caspian Sea watershed (located in Eurasia). The climate of this area is normally temperate, and the average air temperature is 10.75 degrees Celsius. The geography of these area highland areas surrounding the world’s largest enclosed water body. The Round Goby usually eats mollusks and small fish/fish eggs. In the invaded area, it is eaten by the Lake Eerie Water snake (this is the only consume that depends on the Round Goby for nutrients). The niche it plays in its natural environment is that it takes nutrients from the environment and uses the aquatic plants for shelter.
The scientific name for the Round Goby is Neogobious Melanostomus. Its appearance is characterized by its muddy brown color with black spots it is similar to the sculpin; the only difference is that the Round Goby has a fused pelvic fin. Its behavior is characterized by its aggressiveness towards native fish and competitiveness for food.
The Round Goby was introduced into the Great Lakes watershed in the 1990’s. Since then, it has reproduced rapidly. The climate of this region is temperate and the geography is great lakes with sand dunes scattered throughout the coasts. The Round Goby was introduced into the Great Lakes watershed by a European cargo ship emptying its ballast tanks.
In its natural habitat, the Round Goby has a role and functions well. But when in the Great Lakes watershed it causes a lot of distress. Some the ways the Round Goby causes distress are that it eats native fish eggs. It also eats native fish “food” and takes native fish “shelter.” Not to mention the economic stress this fish causes. I estimate that two million dollars have been spent on the economic problems caused by this fish. Scientists are trying to control the Round Goby by using pesticides. They are also informing fishermen to identify and kill the round Goby. One of the Round Gobies major food source is human fish bait. Scientists also urge fishermen to dispose of unwanted bait on land.
Invasive species are found throughout the world. In their natural habitat, they cause no harm, but as invasive species they can cause harm by overpopulating and rapidly consuming food. The Round Goby is invasive species that causes distress in the Great Lakes watershed. Scientists are most commonly using pesticides to control the Round Goby, hopefully they be successful.

Drew Bouwkamp 2

The Invasion of Cane Toads
Bufo marinus

The cane toads are a disaster that started in the early 1900’s. When they were introduced into many different areas like Australia, Hawaii, Florida, Philippians, and a couple other places, they caused a lot of trouble. They were introduced into those areas to help control bugs that were eating sugar cane. Cane Toads are a bother and just cause to much trouble and mess up the order of things like the food chain. They kill all of their predators or make them sick.
Cane toads are usually found in South America and Central America. It habitat is usually by rainforests, on sand dunes, and wet lands. They thrive best when they are in warm tropical areas. They usually eat small animals or insects.
The Cane Toads scientific name is bufo marinus. Cane Toads have dry warty skin and it is also heavily built. It has large glands on each of its shoulders and between its eyes that produce a milky toxin that makes animals and humans sick and it sometimes makes them die. They are 10-17.5 cm from nose to tail. Cane Toads are usually nocturnal. They can’t jump as well as most toads and frogs. And it also eats almost anything that fits in its mouth. They absorb their water through its skin rather than drinking it. Cane toads usually weigh about 6 pounds when it reaches adulthood. They are usually an olive-brown color with a yellowish underbelly.
Cane Toads are considered invasive in many areas including Australia, Hawaii, Florida, and Philippians. In Australia, they were sent to control bugs that would eat sugar cane. But it got out of control. The over population of them caused problems. So, people caused this issue and we need to stop it. Cane Toads cause their predators to get sick and sometimes die. They were introduced into Hawaii by humans and they cause great deal of trouble. Also in Florida and the Philippians humans brought them there and they are killing animals.
In all of these areas they are harming the natural order of things like the food chain and peoples pets like dogs. In these areas peoples animals are just in their backyards when there is a toad, a Cane Toad in the backyard and the animal just goes to check it out when it spreads its milky toxin from its glands and the animal becomes sick and sometimes dies. In Hawaii, there have been reported over 50 dogs have died because of Cane Toads milky toxin. This happens in all the places that they have invaded and even more. They invade yards and eat and drink from dog bowls. Where they are invasive species they don’t have many natural predators. So they over populate those areas. Since they have no natural predators it means they have predators that are not natural. When the not natural predator attacks it and tries to eat it, it produces its milky toxin and makes its predator die or get really sick. And that messes up the natural order of things. An alligator eats an animal, right. So when all of the alligators die there gets an over population of the alligator prey and then it eats to much food and eventually they all die out.
This crisis is really bad, and action is being taken in all of the areas were the Cane Toad are invading. Every year in Australia there is a day were all of the locals of a town try to catch all of the Cane Toads that they can to stop the over population of them. But, there are just too many. When they first arrived there were only 100. The estimation now is in the millions. When they went out they caught about 10,000 which is a lot, but not compared to the population of them in Australia. There is an organization in Australia called Kimberly Toad Busters. They spend many hours of the day, week, and year trying to find and kill the Cane Toads. They have spent like 100,000 hours of their time trying to find them. People fence in areas where there are Cane Toads kill them and find their eggs and destroy them. It is a good thing and a bad thing. When they fence them in it keeps animals out to, so they can’t get water or anything. They also pour chemicals on them, hit them with golf clubs, and freeze them.
Cane Toads are a bad, bad thing. An invasive species is a species that invades a habitat causing harm to whoever or something that is in it. I would say that Cane Toads have that covered; killing pets, predators, and its own prey. We have caused this huge crisis and we need to stop it too.

Andrew Holesinger

By: Andrew Holesinger

Asian Carp, swimming fish or flying fish? You decide. Asian carp are big jumpers. They also are a big invasive species.
Asian Carp are a big invasive species in the Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers. They thrive in deep, warm rivers and lakes. The Asian Carp lives in a temperate zone and in other hot areas. Asian Carp eats aquatic plants, crustaceans, and some insects. Humans are its only predator.
The Asian Carp, or hypophthalmicthys nobilis, are aggressive fish that eats many things near and around it. They jump up very high, about nine feet in the air if they hear a boat motor. Asian Carp adults grow up to twenty-four to thirty inches long, and can weigh up from fifteen to fifty pounds. Asian Carp are deep-bodied fish. They have an olive-green to a brassy-yellow color.
Asian Carp, naturally found in western China, were introduced to the United States of America. They lived in fish farms to clean out other fish’s droppings. Then there was a big flood that took all the Asian Carp out of the ponds and in to the Mississippi River. They have been moving north ever since.
In its natural habitat, Asian Carp were and still are used as a food source. But, when it is in the United States of Americas’ rivers and lakes it causes chaos and havoc. Asian Carp eat way too much food and leave no food for other fish. They also over populate all other fish so the fishing industry goes way down because fishermen are not getting money for catching the carp. When carp eat too much the plants can’t give out oxygen and the water clarity is terrible, this causes other fish to die.
Many things are being done to try and stop the spread of Asian Carp. For example, there is an electrical that is shocking any fish near it. Scientist are trying to put poison in the river to kill all the Asian Carp near Lake Michigan. If the carp gets in to Lake Michigan, Michigan will lose its eight billion dollar fishing industry and the Asian Carp will spread to all the other great lakes.
Invasive species are found all over the world and they are causing harm and chaos to many ecosystems. Many attack and kill native plants and animals, or they might eat all the native plants or animals’ food and the native organisms will die out. Scientists are trying to stop invasive species to enable the natural food chains to continue.

Laura Vanderhorst

Invasive Deforesters
Do you ever wonder what those weird fuzzy caterpillars are? They are the larvae state of an invasive insect from Eurasia called the Gypsy Moth.
An invasive species is an organism that causes harm to an environment it is not native to. Invasive species are usually introduced by humans accidentally or on purposely introduced but then proved unable to control. An ecosystem might have increased risk of invasion if it has already been weakened by another natural disaster like fire, landslides, or a tornado. Invasive species can cause harm by eating leaves off of trees like the Gypsy Moth. A way to get rid of the Gypsy Moth is to spray harmful pesticides, or introduce Calosoma Sycophanta, a type of European beetle that eats Gypsy Moths. Examples of invasive species include Asian Carp, The Africanized Honey Bee, and Purple Loosestrife.
The Gypsy moth is naturally found in Europe and Asia. The climate there usually warm, and the landscape there is Deciduous. In its natural habitat, the Gypsy Moth is naturally eaten by the Calosoma Sycophanta, the beetle mentioned earlier.
The scientific name for the Gypsy Moth is Limantria Dispar. Its appearance is characterized by its fuzzy outside and 5 pairs of red spots and four pairs of blue as a caterpillar. But when they are adults, the males and the females are different colors; the males are brown, and the females are white. As pupae, the Gypsy moth is a yellow patch on a tree called a cacoon in which the caterpillar is turning into a moth.
The Gypsy Moth was introduced to the U.S.A., where it is not naturally found. The climate in which it was introduced into was deciduous. The Gypsy Moth was introduced into Long Island, New York by a French scientist named Leopold Trouvelot who was breeding them for silk production. They have spread farther into the U.S., the map to the left shows the amount of moths found in traps, the purple and pink being the most and the beige being the least.
In its natural habitat, the Gypsy Moth has a role that functions well. But in the U.S., it causes harm. A way it causes harm is the mass deforestation caused by their need to eat leaves.
Scientists are trying to find ways to get rid of or control the Gypsy Moth in northern U.S. Some ways they are fighting this organisms are harmful pesticides, and introducing a beetle naturally found in Eurasia that eats Gypsy Moths.
Invasive species are found all over the world, in every continent. They don’t cause harm in their natural homes, but as invasive species they can cause harm by killing or spreading diseases to native animals and plants. The Gypsy Moth is an invasive species that is causing harm northern United States. Scientists are trying to control this problem by spreading harmful pesticides; unfortunately, these pesticides are harming the environment in that area. I personally hope that they will use a biodegradable pesticide that only harms the population of the Gypsy Moth. Hopefully they will be successful in eradicating the population of Gypsy Moths.
Gypsy Moth - Wikipedia N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2009
Gypsy Moth Fact sheet Ed. Tim Ebata BC Ministry of Forests and Range, n.d. Web 20 Nov 2009
Gypsy Moth Information, DCNR, n.d., Web 20 Nov 2009
Gypsy Moth – FIDL N.p., n.d. web. 20 Nov 2009
Map of Gypsy Moth Distribution N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2009.
Earth Observatory NASA, NASA n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2009.
Encyclopedia Brittannica N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2009.

Hannah Stimac 17

Mexican Grey Squirrel
Sciorus Aureogaster
By: Hannah Stimac
The Mexican Grey Squirrel is grey or black with a red belly. It has small eyes and ears. They have strong teeth for biting into their food. They have a long bushy tail. They shed twice a year and shed their tail fur once a year.
Originating from Guatemala and eastern and southern Mexico, the Mexican Grey Squirrel made its way to Florida. Hurricane Andrew brought these squirrels from Mexico to some small islands called the Florida Keys. Many thought they had been wiped out by the hurricane, but one was found swimming to the islands. Others were found on one island, Edward Island.
The Mexican Grey Squirrel eats things such as blackberries, poisonwood, pigeon plum berries, coconuts, and snails. An endangered native bird depends greatly on the pigeon plum berries, which these squirrels seem to like. Another problem is when they can’t find food. If they can’t find enough food, they eat parts of trees branches, which can kill the tree. Since they can swim, they can go to anyplace they want to. They build nests in the hollows and branches of trees.
To stop them, the people have decided to go out at night with toxin guns and shoot the toxin into the nests. The next morning they take the body and the nests to labs for research. The scientists hope to find something interesting that can stop them.
To be invasive the organism must either cause a problem or disrupt the natural order of things. If the organism doesn’t cause any problems or hurt the way of life, it’s not really invasive.
The Mexican Grey Squirrel causes a few problems. These are the only problems they have discovered so far. Hopefully, the scientists can fix this problem without having to kill them! And don’t forget to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21!

Nkatha Mwenda 12

Alien invaders have already arrived and I'm not talking about the aliens that are green and that have antennas. When I say invaders I mean invasive species, which are organisms that harm or have the potential to harm an environment, like the Asian Long Horned Beetle. This beetle didn't come by U.F.O. but has come to the U.S.A. through infested wood packaging. However, green or not they have the same mission. Their mission is to destroy, but in the cause of the Asian Long Horned Beetle they haven't come to destroy humans but have come to destroy our hardwoods and our ecosystem.
The Asian Long Horned Beetle is originally found in China, Korea, and Japan. The land and climate in these countries are quite similar to each other. Korea has bitterly cold winters and hot and humid summers. In the fall and the spring the weather is sunny and generally dry. Japan and China's weather is very much the same as Korea's. These countries also have forests, deserts, and other physical land features. North America has a number of predators that will eat the Asian Long Horned Beetle like other beetles, birds, lizards, spiders, toads, and wasps. However, that does not seem to stop the rapid growth of the Asian Long Horned Beetle.
The Anoplophora Glabripennis or commonly known as the Asian Long Horned Beetle is only about one and a quarter inches long and about one and a third inches wide. In the larvae stage Asian Long Horned Beetles are a pale yellow and worn like. In the Pupae stage they are an off- white color. When they become adults they turn shiny black with white spots and have antennas with white bands around them that are almost as long as their bodies. Asian Long Horned Beetles lay their eggs in a variety of hardwoods and as their babies grow up the feed on the hardwoods such as Silver, Red, and Sugar Maples, Birches, Horse Chestnuts, Poplars, Willows, Elms, Black Locusts and Sycamores. When they are fully grown they puncture the wood until the make a hole in it and emerge and start the cycle all over again.
The Asian Long Horned Beetle has invaded New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Canada. The land and climate in these areas are very similar to the land and climate in the Asian Long Horned Beetles natural habitat because these areas have many forests and similar temperatures in the different seasons. The Asian Long Horned Beetle came to those areas through infested packaging wood from China. (See attacked map for locations of the invasions).
The Asian Long Horned Beetle harms the environment by puncturing numerous holes in hardwoods that cause them to die. This does not only cause the hardwoods to die but also causes whole ecosystems to collapse. Without hardwood trees we would have no maple syrup, no vast forests, and no animal life that depended on hardwoods to live would survive.
People have become aware of the crisis of these silent and mostly unseen invaders and are trying to put a stop to them before it is too late. Some are trying to find infested trees and destroy them through burning or chipping of the wood to kill as many larvae and pupae as possible to stop this deadly cycle from continuing.
Invasive species are a commonly found problem in many parts of the world. They only harm environments outside of their own and once they get outside of their own environment there is definitely trouble close behind. Scientists have taken action and have tried many things to stop the Asian Long Horned Beetle and other invasive species but they haven't gotten a effective solution yet. Hopefully they will find a way to stop these disastrous invasions before it is truly too late for the ever so important native species.

Audrey Conrad 3

An invasive species is an animal or plant that comes to an area and is not originally from that area. The organism then takes over the area wiping out most the native plants found there. Some of the ways an invasive species can come to an area are:
~ People thinking that a plant is pretty and move it to their yard,
~ On shipping vessels from the ocean, (for example, the introduction of the zebra muscle to the Great Lakes),
~Deliberately brought to a place to increase crop production.
Most of the invasive species are brought to the place that they are invading by humans. The Africanized Honey Bee was brought to America by people to increase crop production.
The Africanized Honey Bee is an invasive species originally found in Africa. Where the Africanized Honey Bee was originally found in Africa it was mostly deserts, rain forests, and crop growing. The Africanized Honey Bee was brought to South America for breeding with the bees in South America. At first the bees were kept in quarantine but a few of the bees escaped and moved to North America.
The scientific name for the Africanized Honey Bee is Apis Mellifera Scutella Lepeletier. Its appearance is similar to that of the European Honey Bee, the only way to tell the difference is under a microscope. When seen under a microscope, the Africanized Honey Bee is golden with black stripes and the European Honey Bee is golden with brown stripes. The behavior of the Africanized honey Bee is characterized by high irritability and they have been known to chase people up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive.
The Africanized Honey Bee was introduced to lower California and Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida. The climate of most of these places is dry and temperate like Africa. The geography of the places that the Africanized Honey Bee has invaded is flat with some trees mixed in. The Africanized Honey Bee was brought to Southern North America to be breed with European Honey Bee to increase honey production. See Map.
Where the Africanized Honey Bee has invaded there are lots of farmers growing crops. When there are a lot of crops in one area the farmers get stung because they import hives to pollinate their fields. The Africanized Honey Bee is nick named “Killer Bee”

Chandler Muller 11

Walking catfish
By: Chandler Muller

Have you ever seen a fish walking on land? There is a fish that does, it is called the walking catfish. The walking catfish can walk on land as long as one hour or more. The walking catfish is only 25 to 40 inches long which is small for a catfish. The walking catfish is gray. They live at the bottom of lakes or in on the top of small ponds. The scientific name is Clarias Batrachus. The walking catfish is torpedo shape with whiskers and a small tail. The walking catfish eat other fish or plants. They will eat their young if they are hungry. They let out toxins that kill plants. In Asia they have a policy 10 cents a fish in a race. They will also feed them poisons so they will die. The walking catfish can spread disease to people. They can go to different places just by walking on land.

Kylie Vankoevering 20

Do you know anything about the Red Imported Fire Ants? No! Well soon they are going to become your living night mare. You may want to move to a colder place, because these ants love warm areas. In the United States these vicious ants go as west as California and as North as Maryland and Kansas. Every sting from the Red Imported Fire Ants can be like murder. One good thing is you can tell them apart from other ants, because they are red.

The Red Imported Fire Ants is found naturally in South America. The climate is just the way they like it, nice and warm. These ants, like many other ants can live anywhere, they can live in cities, and country side, even the sea side, because their can make there homes pretty much out of anything; the sidewalk, a dire mound, and lots of other places. Luckily the Red Imported Fire Ants can get destroyed by a few animals, and they can eat plant, and weak, small animal, such as saplings, and seedlings. The ants can damage 57 species of agricultural plants (wow, that’s a lot). It is eaten, or affected by: Protozcan disease, (Thelohania solenopsae) Phorid flies, (Pseudaceton spp) and an ant called workerless social parasite (solenopsa’s dogerei). In its natural habitat it helps break down wood that makes the soil rich.

The scientific name for Red Imported Fire Ants is Solenopoi’s invicla. Its appearance is a relish color, and is about the size of a quarter. If disturbed the red imported fire ant will attack, and if not properly taken care the bites could become infected, which will lead to scaring, and if one is allergic, they could go in a coma, but will not likely die.

Red Imported Fire Ants were first introduced into the United States. At least in the warmer states. They were introduced into the United States by the ballast in cargo ships (which can be filled with water or soil to weigh the boat down when it has no cargo, so it will not tip over.)


In its natural habitat, The Red Imported Fire Ants had a role, and a role that worked perfectly. But then with one minor mistake they found a new home, and, they loved it, but the old neighbors didn’t like the ants, and they couldn’t do anything about it. A few ways the fire ants causes harm is:

1. They kill agricultural tree’s, by eating the bark, all around the tree, so water from the roots can’t get to the top of the tree.

2. They may kill newly hatched animals, such as birds, because they are weak.

3. They are attracted to electricity, so they may bite through wires, and then things like lights can go off, which can lead to problems.

There is only one way to kill the Red Imported Fire Ants, and that is to kill the Queen ant, or ants, because then they can not make any more ants, and will eventually die off. These are the way they are killing them off:

1. Spraying the mounds, and hoping it gets to the Queen.

2. Giving bait to the worker, by putting poison in food; but if there is a rain all the poison will go away from the food.

3. The three animals that affect the ants that I wrote about before.
Invasive species are found all over the world. In their natural habitat they cause no harm, but as invasive species they can cause harm by hurting other animals, or plants. An Imported Fire Ant is an invasive species that is causing harm in the United States. U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture are trying to control this problem by killing the queen. Hopefully they will be successful.
Question #1
Question #2
The Red Imported Fire Ant
Marching Across the South
Question #3
Red Imported Fire Ants
Fire Ants
Tamra B.Orr
Question #4
Invasive Species: Animals-Red Imported Fire Ants
Fire Ants
Tamra b. Orr
Question #5
The Red Imported Fire Ant
Marching Across the South
Hht://www.deh.enr, srae inc. uslphpulimages/pubs/
The Red Imported Fire Ant
Marching Across the South

Austin Rumsey 15

Sea Lampreys
By Austin Rumsey

Sea Lampreys, there freaky to some but to others it’s a

murderer. And it lives in the Great Lakes and mainly feeds on one

thing, fish. Yes, these monsters are killing of the fish of the Great

Lakes. They have teamed up with one other invasive species.

Alewives, they are a type of fish that is too small for Lamprey to eat.

Together they have wiped out three kinds of Cisco. The Lamprey

clears out the fish and the Alewives eat their food. When the

Lamprey feeds it doesn’t eat the fish, it sucks the blood and body

fluids with its razor sharp teeth. The Lamprey wasn’t brought here

unintentionally it hooked on to the boats that were passing through

the Atlantic Ocean. And that concludes my report on the Lamprey.

Lampreys live in water. They have big eyes. They have seven gills.

They eat fish. They prey on sports fish. They are very carnivorous.

They are very bad. And that concludes my report on the


Tristan Fuller 5

Japanese Honeysuckle
Tristan Fuller

You can buy Japanese honeysuckle plenty of different nurseries. They look remarkable. Their nectar tastes good. You would think that there is nothing bad about them. But there is. This plant is an invasive species. The Lonicera japicona is very harmful to the warm climates in the entire United States, because of its vine-like nature. It chokes any plants that it can reach. But what is an invasive species anyway? Here is the official definition: “A non-indigenous organism that adversely affects the habitat they invade economically, environmentally, or ecologically.” My definition is “An organism that is BAD in the habitat it invades. They grow fast, have rapid reproduction, and a high dispersal range. Do whatever you can to be rid of them before they suck the life out of our native soil.”
The Japanese honeysuckle’s native range is all throughout Japan (no dip) and Korea, but now it has migrated into the United States of America. This plant is a survivor; it can grow almost anywhere: Fields, forests, wetlands… anyplace you can imagine that doesn’t have freezing cold climates.
Although something is invasive, that doesn’t mean it can’t look pretty. Lonicera japonica have oblong leaves on there slender vines that can climb vertically rapidly, but if you want to brag, talk about the flowers. They are tubular, with five fused petals that are white, pink, and sometimes yellow. They are always in pairs, and project curved stamens from the center of the blossom. Japanese honeysuckles also have small berries that are red or orange in their native environment, but are usually purple to black in the invaded setting. The nectar of this plant is sweet, almost like honey (hence the name).
This beautiful flora was brought over to the America’s by the Japanese in the mid-1800’s as an ornamental plant, erosion control, and wildlife forage and cover. Even though it provides all these things, the plant is still problematic. It raids most of the North America, but is absent in the northern plains and in the states of Iowa and Minnesota for Japanese honeysuckle is less resistant in the colder weather.
The Japanese honeysuckle has very few enemies in its new habitat, so it can completely out-compete the natives in that area. The major victims, so to speak, of the honeysuckle are young, small trees and medium-sized shrubs. The vines of the honeysuckle wrap around the trunks awfully tight, therefore squeezing the water supply shut and choking the plant that give it support. Also, if the Lonicera japonica grow up the trunks of trees big enough to survive the swaddling of the vines, they can grow like a canopy between trees in a forest and block out the sun, so the tiny plants on ground floor will die because of lack of daylight. Hard life.
Overall, these plants are not very good for the wellbeing of the plagued habitats they now occupy. But that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Sometimes they can be amazingly helpful to the health of humans and animals alike. In ancient Asia, the Japanese honeysuckle was a medicinal herb. In different dialects, these words meant different but very similar things. For instance, Rěn dōng tĕng, which means literally “winter enduring vine” and Jīn yĭn huā, which also translates to “gold silver flower”, although they are still both Japanese honeysuckle. These plants all have medicinal powers as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. If you have this plant, you will drive out heat from your body, removing toxins, including fevers, influenza, and ulcers.
Japanese have been hurting and helping the land and people in the America’s since the 1800’s. Now people have to do something about them once and for all. One thing that has been tried is approved burnings in fire-adapted environment in the springs. Some have even attempted to put Glyphosate on the foliage in the fall after most of the native plants in the area have gone dormant (usually in the fall) before the hard freeze.
Many techniques have been tried to control the fast growing creeping plant known as the Japanese honeysuckle, but few have worked. Hopefully in the future of the world, we will find a way to stop the forces of all the invasive species, but for now, we just have to keep searching for the one thing, one cure to save at least one portion of this big blue ball, hurtling around a giant burning star: Earth.

Lindsey Frontjes 4

The Monk Parakeet
By: Lindsey Frontjes
The Monk parakeet or Quaker parrot surprisingly is an introduced species. Their Scientific name is Myiopsitta monachus. They are the only parrot that builds stick nests in trees! They are an introduced species because they are agricultural pests they destroy the crops. Did you know that the monk parakeet is a VERY smart bird; they are quick to learn how to talk. Monk parakeets can even say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
The Monk parakeet is found naturally in South America. The climate in South America is temperate/subtropical. The landscape is savannahs and woodlands, but the monk parakeet can also live in houses as pets. The parakeets eat seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, blossoms, and insect larvae.
The Monk Parakeet is a very smart bird and it acts like a human. It is Green overall, 29 in, has a gray forehead, cheeks, lores, throat, belly, and lower back, its rump is yellow. Its life style is either to live in a stick nest in a tree, and get food and just live. Or it lives in a little cage in someone’s house and is taken good care of and doesn’t need to get its own food. Also it could live as an agricultural pest and destroy lots of people’s crops and other food.
The monk parakeet is now in the U.S.A. This is because it was naturally brought for pet use but then it was set free because of accidental escapes and deliberate releases of the parakeets into the actual world and the parakeet now has built nests and already destroyed some crops. But the climate in the U.S.A is everything but most of it is temperate which makes it easy for the parrot to adapt to the landscape and features.
In the U.S.A the parrot causes lots of harm such as harming the agriculture it eats the crops and kills them. Their main target is cereal and orchard crops. It also can kill native species such as a native plant or it can kill a crop that the crop helps other native species which then with the parrot killing that plant it will also kill the native species. The parrot can also irritate some people. Some people like to have them as pets and teach the parrot’s tricks and how to speak. Other people want them dead either because the parrots have been killing there crops or just bugging them.
Scientists aren’t really taking the monk parakeet’s threat into consideration. The only thing they try to push humans to do is when they see a monk parakeets nest TAKE IT DOWN. Also if you are a pet owner they strongly recommended you keep your parrot indoors at ALL times, make sure there is no way it can escape cause once it escapes there’s no way you can really stop it.
I don’t think that anyone should get so worried about the Monk parakeets threat. There are a lot of other things that are causing more destructive damage. The parakeets are very cute animals and only cause the threat of agriculture because it’s their way of life.