CABI leads regional workshop on Pest Risk Analysis tool in Bangladesh

Workshop participants and CABI facilitators pose for a group photo in two rows.
Workshop participants and CABI facilitators (L-R from front row, 2nd from left) Claire Curry, Ganeshamoorthy Rajendra and Dr Manju Thakur (not pictured: Dr Malvika Chaudhary). (Photo: Ganeshamoorthy Rajendra)

Plant quarantine experts on Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) from four countries in South Asia joined together in Bangladesh last week (4th -5th September) for a workshop led by CABI on the new Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) decision support tool and workflow. The PRA tool workshop, which was made possible through CABI’s Action on Invasives programme, took place over two days in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The regional event, coordinated by Dr Malvika Chaudhary (Asia Regional Coordinator) with kind support from Ganeshamoorthy Rajendran (Country Coordinator, South Asia) brought together and welcomed participants from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, as well as delegates from FAO and SAARC, Bangladesh.

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Invasive species aren’t just a ‘first world problem’

By Jim Erickson-Michigan. Reblogged from Futurity.

Opuntia ficus-indica
Opuntia ficus-indica (Photo: John Tann, Flickr)

Invasions from alien plants, animals, and pathogens threaten the economies of the world’s poorest nations, according to study.

One-sixth of the global land surface is highly vulnerable to invasion, including substantial areas in developing countries and biodiversity hotspots, according to the study published in Nature Communications.

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Invading Ireland: the coypu

By Dr Colin Lawton, National University of Ireland Galway

Coypu on a riverbank
Coypu are strong swimmers and live in burrows or nests near water; on riverbanks, lake shores, or wetlands. (Photo: Thorsten Krienke, Flickr)

One of the greatest threats to biodiversity is the invasion of alien species into an ecosystem.  These can occur through natural migrations as a result of recent habitat or climate change, or species can be introduced by human activities, both accidentally or deliberately.  Invasions are occurring at an increasing rate as a result of faster environmental change and increased movement by human populations.

Like all countries, Ireland has experienced a number of mammal invasions in recent decades.  Species such as the grey squirrel, greater white toothed shrew, bank voles and American mink have all become established, and in each case the opportunity to eradicate the animal and stop the invasion has long gone. Continue reading

Training of Trainers on awareness and management of Parthenium in Pakistan

Parthenium in Pakistan
CABI staff conduct a rural awareness campaign with farmers on how to identify and manage Partheium safely. (Photo ©Asim Hafeez for CABI)

As one of its key priorities, CABI under the Action on Invasives programme aims to raise awareness about the threat of invasive species with the relevant government departments in Pakistan. In particular to address the issue of the highly invasive Parthenium weed. Through public awareness campaigns and sharing invasive management advice for better control practices, CABI wants to ensure communities are aware of this aggressive weed and its effects on agriculture and health.

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National emergency declared as Colombia confirms the presence of TR4 banana disease

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Tropical Race 4 (TR4) has been officially confirmed in Colombia (Photo: Arminas Raudys, Pexels)

The global banana industry is facing a new major threat. On the 8th August, the Colombian Agricultural Institute announced that it has confirmed the presence of a strain of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4) in the northern region of the country. Since then the Colombian government has issued a national state of emergency, destroying crops and quarantining plantations in an attempt to postpone the spread of the fungus until a suitable preventative plan can be implemented.

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Potential Slug Invasions and their Impact on UK Biosecurity (Part 2)

By Dr Jenna Ross

Guest writer, Dr Jenna Ross, from Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), joins us for the second of her two-part special series (read part 1) on the outputs of her prestigious Nuffield Farming Scholarship. Jenna spent 26 weeks travelling the world studying all aspects of slug invasions and slug control, and in this article discuss the impact of slug invasions on UK biosecurity.

Molluscs (slugs and snails) are a significant risk to biosecurity worldwide due to their:

DrJennaRoss
Figure 1: Dr Jenna Ross
  • Varied diet, thus can be herbivores, predators, scavengers or omnivores;
  • Ability to carry parasites and pathogens, including some that impact on human and animal health;
  • Survival in disturbed environments, especially when they are in close association with human activity;
  • Rapid reproduction, laying hundreds of eggs over a short period of time;
  • Reproduction strategy, in that they can self-fertilise, thus having the ability to survive without a mate, and establish a population with a single invader; and
  • Ability to aestivate and emerge when weather conditions are more favourable.

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Invasion of a predator: Lionfish

By Rebecca Quarterman and Hannah Fielder

lionfish
Lionfish populations continue to expand, threatening the well-being of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems (Image: Pixabay)

The majestic, unusual looking Lionfish could be seen as harmless to the untrained eye. Yet, this invasive species has multiplied aggressively over the last two decades to become a serious threat to biodiversity in the marine setting.

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) and the devil firefish (Pterois miles) are native to the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean respectively, though their ranges overlap in the waters around Indonesia. These two species are collectively known as lionfish and are so similar in appearance that scientists usually rely on genetic analysis to tell them apart. Thriving on coral reefs and among mangroves and seagrass, lionfish have distinctive white and red/brown striped bodies and venomous spines on their fins to protect them from predators.

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