Identifying the Urban Populations in Africa at Risk for Malaria from a New Vector

Malaria continues to ravage many parts of the world, particularly in rural sub-Saharan Africa. A recently detected outbreak of malaria in urban areas has now been traced to an invasive species of mosquito from Asia. This species, A. stephensi, thrives in urban settings and its presence in Africa considerably increases the populations that are now at risk of contracting malaria.

Read more

How to Study Invasive Species from Space

There are certain things on earth, like oceans and even the Great Wall of China, that can be seen in space by the human eye. Did you know that satellites can also take pictures of the Earth and can be potentially useful for real ecological restoration efforts? Researchers at the University of Cincinnati tested it out in their own backyard and found that they could identify a well spread invasive species. Early detection may be key to saving habitats from harmful, non-native organisms.

Read more

The invasive Kentucky bluegrass

The grass species known as Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) – contrary to its name – is not native to Kentucky nor is it blue (spoiler: it’s green). It is originally from Europe and northern Asia and is the most popular lawn grass in the Unites States. Unfortunately, it has also become a huge invasive problem in natural grassland environments.

Read more

Space Invaders? Exotic Bees in the Urban Landscape

One up and coming target for bee conservation has been the urban landscape, as some recent findings have indicated that cities can maintain diverse bee communities. Though on the surface these findings seem promising for bee conservation, many of these studies do not actually address whether this is a positive thing for native bees. One group of scientists decided to delve further into this topic by looking at the effects of urbanization on bee species. Specifically, they wanted to find out whether exotic bees, including the European honeybee, were found more abundantly in cities and other urban areas than in rural communities and how their presence affected native bees.

Read more

Invasive Species Eradication: Prioritizing Efforts and Understanding Costs

Invasive predators can have major impacts on native prey species. Eradication, if possible, can help native species rebound, but many invasion scenarios are complex and include multiple invasive predators. How do we decide which species to target first? While such decisions can be difficult, recent theoretical work has shed light on the most effective strategies.

Read more

Can a newly invasive tick spread Lyme disease?

As spring arrives, animals of all shapes and sizes, native or invasive, come out from sheltering over winter. Unfortunately, this also includes pests that we might not be so excited to see again, including those that spread disease such as mosquitoes and ticks. Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in the United States, and spread by native black-legged ticks. However, since 2017 there has been an invasive tick expanding into Lyme disease territory, but the question of whether these invasive ticks can spread Lyme disease remains unanswered.

Read more

Invader in red: the impacts of the red-eared slider turtle across the globe

I’ve always been a big fan of animals. I love visiting pet shops and looking at all the cool animals. However, movement of animals via the pet trade has resulted in the introduction of exotic wildlife to many ecosystems globally. A particularly widespread invader is the red-eared slider turtle. Read on to find out how these invaders in red have spread and whether policy has been effective in controlling them.

Read more

What Smokey the Bear didn’t know about invasive species

Fires are increasing across the United States and researchers are looking to weed out the one of the culprits — invasive grasses. Using information from fires and non-native grass invasion across the country, researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst set out to determine if invasive grasses increase the number of fires across the United States. Of the twelve grass species analyzed, 66% increased fire frequency, adding another layer to the complexity of managing wildfires. As individuals we can help halt this “grass-fire cycle” by reducing the spread of invasive grasses and human-caused sparks.

Read more

Spotting the Shy Guy – Why Collaboration With Local Indigenous People Can Be An Asset to Conservation Management

A recent Australian study highlights the importance of including local and indigenous people in conservation research. While examining mitigation of lizard population declines, scientists stumbled upon a surprising finding about how researchers’ cultural differences can affect fieldwork and experimental outcomes.

Read more