RE: [acn-l] FW: Exotic control success story

Danny.J.B.Walker (reklaw01 at cobweb.com.au)
Fri, 10 Sep 1999 12:03:17 +0930

gday there mate
wow an aussie invading else where,
Im used to every thing from overseas invading us. Like the Gambusia affinis
& holbrooki we now call it the Plaque Minnow also Trout Rainbows and Browns
and the aquatic rabbit CARP Guppies,Mollies,Swordtails & Cichlids. And not
forgetting foxes,cats,Starlings & rabbits Camels (I heard we have the only
wild roaming ones in the world big deal ehh) donkeys .numerous aquatic and
terrestrial plants.
man this country is a feral mess and Ive only scratched the surface.
Are the herbicides effecting the native plants and ground covers?

but it sure is good to hear that you are getting on top of the problem.
even though its a good looking plant heheh.

Danny.J.B.Walker
Australian New Guinea Fishes Association
South Australian Native Fish Association(V.Pres)
Advancing Australian Aquatics
Native Fish for the Future
Catch and Release "It will grow on you"

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-acn-l at pinetree.pinetree.org
> On Behalf Of Jay DeLong
> Sent: Wednesday, 8 September 1999 15:05
> To: ACN-L; NANFA
> Subject: [acn-l] FW: Exotic control success story
>
>
> Interesting story on biological control of an exotic species.
> Can kudzu be
> next?
>
> Jay DeLong
> Olympia, WA
> --------------------------
>
> Published Wednesday, September 1, 1999, in the Miami
> Herald, Pg. 1 www.herald.com
>
> Scientists gaining ground against melaleuca scourge
>
> By CYRIL T. ZANESKI
> Herald Staff Writer
>
> Powerful herbicides, crews of chainsaw-wielding
> laborers and a hungry beetle have cut the number of
> acres infested by the nasty pest tree melaleuca by
> almost a third in the last decade, scientists at the
> South Florida Water Management District said Tuesday.
>
> The $25 million push by a state and federal agencies
> has cleared the aggressive invader from Australia from
> virtually all the Everglades south of Alligator Alley
> -- and raised hopes for winning an ecological war that
> seemed all but hopeless just a few years ago.
>
> "It's possible now that we may be able to eradicate
> it before my retirement." said Francois Laroche, 38, a
> senior environmental scientist at the district. "The
> key is whether we can maintain funding we need to
> continue doing what we've been doing. If funding is
> kept up, melaleuca might be swept out of the entire
> Everglades and from the marshy edges of Lake
> Okeechobee in five to 10 years.
>
> Melaleuca is biological poison in South Florida.
> Fueled by the spread of windblown seeds, melaleuca's
> relentless march into the wetlands has smothered
> native trees and grasses and left no room for wildlife
> in vast tracts of the Everglades. The dense forests of
> oily melaleuca trees are also safety threats, making
> wildfires spread faster and burn hotter.
>
> The tree -- which has flaky, light-colored bark that
> resembles sheets of peeling paper -- dots older
> neighborhoods where it was planted for shade in the
> 1950s. But it is most common in western Miami-Dade and
> Broward counties where melaleuca forests have overrun
> virtually all undeveloped private property that was
> not faithfully tended by mowers or grazing cattle.
>
> Agricultural researchers brought the melaleuca to
> South Florida decades ago in the hope that the thirsty
> tree would help dry up swamps for farmers.
>
>
> No natural pests
>
> But with no natural pests on the continent, the tree
> ran amok. By the late 1980s, it looked as though dense
> melaleuca forests would take over every square inch
> that already wasn't covered by a house, a farm or a
> shopping center.
>
> At its peak, melaleuca covered almost a half a million
> acres in South Florida, with saplings sprouting on
> another 50 acres every day.
>
> But the intensive eradication program that brought
> together more than a dozen agencies has managed in the
> last six years to start turning back the melaleuca tide
> on public lands.
>
> Dramatic progress has all but cleared live trees from
> the water conservation areas of western Miami-Dade and
> southern Broward counties, Everglades National Park,
> Big Cypress National Preserve and the Loxahatchee
> National Wildlife Refuge.
>
>
> Acreage is down
>
> In 1993, about 52 percent of the melaleuca in South
> Florida, covering about 252,000 acres, was on public
> land while 48 percent was on private property,
> according to a new report published by the Florida
> Exotic Pest Plant Council and edited by Laroche.
> Today, there are about 137,000 acres of melaleuca on
> public land and 65 percent of all remaining melaleuca
> forests are privately owned.
>
> "We still don't have any programs to do anything on
> private lands," Laroche said. "That's where we hope
> that the insects will help. The insects in this case
> are so-called 'biological control agents' -- pests
> that help control melaleucas in their native Australia.
>
>
> Snout-nosed beetle
>
> In 1997, federal agricultural researchers introduced
> the first of these insects -- the snout-nosed beetle --
> that is slowing the spread of melaleuca seedlings along
> the eastern fringes of the Everglades. Other Australian
> insects are now in quarantine in Florida, awaiting the
> completion of tests that might allow them to be turned
> loose.
>
> "Biological control is our great hope," Laroche said.
> "Until then, we are going to continue with our
> herbicides program."
>
> Chemical herbicides are effective but expensive. Over
> the past eight years, the district, which is funded
> primarily by South Floridians' property taxes, has
> spent more than $6 million of its taxpayers' money on
> the melaleuca war with other funding coming from
> federal sources, other state programs and cash paid by
> developers and other companies whose work destroyed
> wetlands.
> ----------
> Copyright 1999 the Miami Herald.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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The Aquatic Conservation Network is dedicated to the exchange of
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ACN-L is hosted by Gordon Dewis (gordon at pinetree.org) at www.pinetree.org