Invasive weed could cut crop yields by 30 per cent

By Nicholas Okeya. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

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Field Dodder Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0 

A dangerous invasive alien weed known as field dodder could be a serious menace to agriculture and biodiversity across Sub-Saharan Africa, and reduce crop yields, scientists say.

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IOBC workshop focuses on the latest research in the biological control of invasive weeds

The CABI Blog

IOBC workshop 2019 group Delegates at the International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Eupatorieae and other Invasive Weeds

By Chan Hong Twu, scientist at CABI Southeast Asia in Selangor, Malaysia

CABI Southeast Asia was proud to host the 9th International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Eupatorieae and other Invasive Weeds where the very latest research on invasive weeds and their biological control agents were shared amongst delegates from 13 countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji, India, Pakistan and other South East Asia countries.

The workshop in Putrajaya, Malaysia, a first for Southeast Asia, offered a valuable opportunity for researchers, professionals and students to gain awareness of the efforts on a regional scale, as well as country-driven biocontrol activities to address not only Eupatorieae weed but all invasive weeds in the regional countries.

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Asia on alert as highly destructive fall armyworm spreads

By Trudy Harris. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

Cover image

Farmers and authorities throughout Asia need to be vigilant against fall armyworm invasions, after confirmation that the fast-moving pest has spread from India to China and now to South-East Asia, agricultural experts say.
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St Kitts-Nevis launches project to minimize harmful effects of invasive alien species

Originally published on WIC News

IAS-stkitts

A project aimed at managing the risks and costs of invasive alien species on important ecosystems, species and genetic diversity was launched in St. Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday, at the Ocean Terrace Inn Conference Room.

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Taking action on invasives and youth unemployment in Zambia

The CABI Blog

20180911_102912 Tibonge Mfune sampling fall armyworm larvae to survey for natural enemies in Zambia.

Youth unemployment is a significant economic and social burden for Zambia. So too is the impact of invasive species on agricultural production and the natural environment.

Are these mutually exclusive challenges, or can youth unemployment and tackling agricultural challenges, such as invasive species, be effectively positioned together to deliver jobs, food security and sustainable agriculture?

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‘Cracking the code’ of woody weed spread with machine-learnt algorithms

The CABI Blog

rotor-cipher-machine-1147801_1920 Machine learning algorithms have their origins in early ‘computers’ such as the German WW2 ciphering Enigma machine

A scientific tool which has its principles in early ‘computers’ such as the German WW2 Enigma machine – used to convey secret commercial, diplomatic and military communication – is helping to map the fractional cover of the woody weed Prosopis julifloraacross the Afar Region of Ethiopia.

PhD Candidate Hailu Shiferaw from Addis Ababa University, who is being supervised by CABI’s Dr Urs Schaffner, Professor Woldeamlak Bewket (AAU) and Dr Sandra Eckert (Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern), has compared the performances of five Machine Learning Algorithms (MLAs) to test their ability at mapping the fractional cover/abundance and distribution of Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) – particularly Prosopis which has already devastated an area equivalent to half of neighbouring Djibouti.

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How a wasp might save the Christmas Island red crab

By Stephanie Dittrich. Reblogged from Island Conservation.

Invasive crazy ants threaten Christmas Island Red Crab populations, but a certain species of wasp might be able to help.

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The Christmas Island red crab is a land crab endemic to Christmas Island and Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. Credit: John Tann, Wikimedia

Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, is known for an abundance of Red Crabs, a species once recorded in numbers nearing 44 million. The Red Crab has captured the hearts of naturalists and nature novices alike, due to the beauty and magnificence of their yearly mass migration from land to sea to lay their eggs in the ocean. However, in recent years, they have suffered a tremendous decline of roughly 40 million, according to recent population surveys. The cause? Invasive crazy ants, which are believed to have been introduced by a ship sometime during the early 20th century.

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