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Global Invasive Species Team listserve digest #012
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 15:00:50 -0800 (PST)

1. New Information on the Wildland Weeds Website
2. Update on Tamarisk biocontrol

1. New Information on the Wildland Weeds Website
From: Barry Rice (bamrice(at)ucdavis.edu)

I have uploaded a new Element Stewardship Abstract for Tamarisk
(Saltcedar) to the Management Library area of the Weeds on The Web
web site. This new Species Management Summary was written by Alan Carpenter and is great.

I have also added a section to the web site called "Tools of the Trade." I
have included information, photographs, prices, and contact information
for Weed Wrenches, EZJect Lances, and the new Root Talon.

2. Update on Tamarisk biocontrol
From: John Randall (jarandall(at)ucdavis.edu)

Research releases of two biological control agents for invasive
tamarisks (Tamarix ramosissima, T. parviflora, T. chinensis, T. pentandra,
T. gallica) have been approved. Release of these two insect species was
first proposed at least two years ago. A decision was delayed until
questions could be addressed about whether tamarisk control might
detrimentally affect the Federally Endangered Southwestern Willow
Flycatcher. The Flycatcher is known to nest in tamarisk dominated areas
(USFWS 1993). Jack DeLoach, leader of the tamarisk biocontrol project and
Julie Gould of USDA-APHIS predict that the two biocontrol species may
provide about 85% control of tamarisk and will take 3-5 years to control
tamarisk at small sites and 5-10 years in small to medium watersheds. The
release sites will be monitored and in a few years we should have an idea
of whether these two species do in fact control tamarisks in the field.
What follows is an excerpt of a broadcast e-mail from Jack Deloach's lab
announcing the approval of the research releases:

"On 28 December, the U SDI Fish and Wildlife Service wrote USDA-APHIS
that they concurred with the proposal sent to them by Deloach (ARS) and
Gould (APHIS) on 28 August 1998. This proposal covered the research
releases of two control agents, the leaf beetle (Diorama elongate) from
China and Kayaks, and the mealybug (Tauten mania) from Israel at 13
specified sites in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada
and California. These releases are to be confined in secure field cages
during the first year, then the cages may be removed during the second
and third year. The primary purposes are to measure the rapidity of
control of salt cedar, the rate of dispersal of the control agents, and
any damage to non-target species. Additional releases or redistributions
from these specified 13 sites are not authorized until the results of the
3-year research releases are analyzed and approvals obtained from the
Saltcedar Consortium, Fish and Wildlife Service, and APHIS."

"In this same 28 December letter, FWS stated concurrence in our analysis
(reported in the "Proposal" of 28 August 1998 and in the draft
Biological Assessment of 17 October 1997) that the research releases we
proposed would have no adverse affect on the Southwestern Willow
Flycatcher. APHIS-PPQ now is preparing the Environmental Assessment
required by NEPA and the required notice in the Federal Register. If
these actions proceed smoothly, we anticipate making releases into the
cages this spring."

This is John Randall writing again: DeLoach and other researchers are
putting together a tamarisk biocontrol consortium composed of members
from a broad spectrum of federal and state agencies and private
organizations. One important role of the consortium will be to establish
protocols for the releases and for monitoring the effects of the insects
on vegetation and of consequent recovery of native vegetation, and
monitoring of the affect of vegetation recovery on wildlife populations.
I have been asked to represent TNC on the consortium and will be asking
some of you for input, and, with permission of the individuals involved,
requesting that other TNCstaff be included in the consortium. I think we can help ensure that
information most useful to natural area managers is gained from these
research releases.

Updated March 2000
©The Nature Conservancy, 1998