invasive species

Invasive Species
3:09 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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Invasive Species
2:43 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Got Giant African Land Snails? Release The Hounds!

Will sniff snails for treats: Bear, a three-year-old black lab, is being trained to follow the scent of giant African land snails.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

In the ongoing assault on invasive giant African land snails, Florida is ready to release the hounds.

Literally.

The state will be adding snail-sniffing dogs to its team of 50 full-time snail hunters.

RELATED: Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

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Invasive Species Cookbook
4:09 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

How To Make Stew With Giant African Land Snails

The giant African land snail get up to eight inches long.
Credit Andrew Derksen, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

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Invasive Species
8:27 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Eating Iguanas In Southwest Florida With Jackson Landers

Jackson Landers, author of Eating Aliens: One Man's Adventures Hunting Invasive Animal Species, with a nutria.
Credit Courtesy of Jackson Landers

Jackson Landers grew up in a vegetarian household. Now he hunts and butchers much of his own meat. In the past five years, he's focused on hunting and eating invasive species.

In his book, Eating Aliens: One Man's Adventures Eating and Hunting Invasive Species, ​the 35-year-old Landers chronicles his travels around the country as he learns to hunt, butcher and eat various invasive species.

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Environment
10:13 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Invasive Lionfish Are So Hard To Eradicate From South Florida Waters

The latest tool in the battle against Florida's lionfish invasion is the Antipodes, a five-person manned submersible operated by OceanGate, Inc.
Credit OceanGate, Inc.

A team of scientists from  around the country recently spent two days off the coast of South Florida to investigate the explosion of lionfish.

What they found was shocking. Why?

Because there’s a war going on and the indomitable lionfish are winning.

These voracious predators are known to invade the shallows of coral reef.  They’re dangerous because they ruin the habitat and eat juvenile spiny lobsters, snappers, groupers, tarpon and bonefish - all valuable marine species humans rely on.

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Agriculture
8:05 am
Thu June 27, 2013

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

The psyllid, discovered eight years ago in Florida citrus groves, has been problematic for researchers and farmers alike.
University of California, Davis AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

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Environment
6:01 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Add 'Crazy Ants' To Growing List Of Florida Invasive Species

The fire ant is getting burned by yet another new invasive in Florida.
Credit AZRainman / Flickr Creative Commons

The giant African land snail has competition in the "strange and destructive little invasive species" department. A report released last month by University of Texas scientists shows that "crazy ants" are "invading the southeastern United States and Texas" -- including Florida. 

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Invasive Species
7:22 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Man Wrestles, Kills Record-Size Python In Florida City

A state wildlife worker lies next to the body of a 18-foot Burmese python captured by Jason Leon of Palmetto Bay.
Credit Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Jason Leon said he has two regrets about slicing the head off the longest Burmese python recorded in Florida:

He wishes he didn’t have to slay the beast, and he wishes his bedroom walls were big enough to mount the snake’s skin.

“I’m actually really mad I had to kill it,” Leon, 23, said Monday.

“But at one point it coiled around both of my legs and my waist, and I wasn’t going to take a chance on letting that thing get to my neck.”

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Botany
7:14 am
Tue May 21, 2013

How Plants Tell The Story Of Florida's Immigrant History

A moringa tree, native to India, is one of several Indian plants cultivated by Laura Mani originally from Kerala.
Mihail Halatchev

Immigrants have had a profound effect on South Florida. We all know about the influences on culture, food and language. But they changed the region's horticulture too.

Many of South Florida's plants have been brought here to improve the surrounds, provide food and shelter. Indeed, most of the plants that we consider iconic to South Florida are not native but transplants from elsewhere. Bougainvillea? It's a native of Mexico. Mangoes are originally from India. Even that most Floridian of fruits, oranges, are originally from China.

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Invasive Species Cookbook
2:36 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Why Florida Has The Most Invasive Species

Originally from Cuba, the Cayman Islands and Bahamas, Cuban treefrogs are one of more than 130 invasive amphibians and reptiles in Florida.
Credit Jeff Wright/Flickr

Florida has a big problem with invasive species, and the idea of chowing down on the pests has been gaining in popularity. So far, there’s a cookbook dedicated to lionfish, an invasive species cooking contest and even an invasive species sampler tent at The Grassroots Festival on Virginia Key this past February. 

As Lanette Sobel with the Fertile Earth Foundation said, “If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em.”

Unfortunately, that tactic, however appetizing, is probably not enough to outpace the invaders wreaking havoc on Florida’s ecosystem.

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Invasive Species Cookbook
11:14 am
Fri May 10, 2013

How to Make Burmese Python Nuggets

Chef Kris Wessel and his python display at an invasive species dining event.
Credit Maurice Cohn Band / Miami Herald

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

BURMESE PYTHON

Origin: Southeast Asia

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Invasive Species Cookbook
6:30 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Some Health Risks With Eating Giant African Land Snail

The giant African land snail can grow up to eight inches long.
Credit Andrew Derksen, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

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Invasive Species Cookbook
6:00 am
Thu May 9, 2013

How To Make Wild Boar Tacos With Tomatillo Salsa

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Credit wildflorida.com

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

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Invasive Species Cookbook
6:30 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Eating Invasive Species Comes With A Side Of Caution

Chef Kris Wessel used the imposing python in the foreground to make smoked and braised python for Fertile Earth Foundation's Underground Miami fund-raiser.
Credit David Samayoa

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

To accompany our Invasive Species Cookbook , we are also posting the potential health risks of eating certain invasive species and how to possibly mitigate those risks.

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Invasive Species Cookbook
6:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

How To Make Snakehead Fish With Mango-Avocado Salsa

Snakehead fish reproduce like rabbits, but in water.
Credit criticalmiami.com

Editor's note: In the hunt for what to do about the various mix of invasive species found in Florida, we are running a series that not only describes the problems caused by these plants and animals but, well, offers a culinary solution. Tweet us (@WLRN) your ideas and tips or email us a recipe: WLRNMIA@gmail.com.

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