I normally lurk here, but I find it discouraging that our collective emphasis regarding invasive species still hinges on "detection" and "rapid response" when it should be on thwarting the arrival of potential pests to begin with.  I am not naive, I am fully aware of the powerful interests fueling our global economy, but it is in no one's best interest to continue a reactive rather than proactive approach.  I would like to see at minimum an overhaul of regulations of the nursery industry that provides exotic plants for landscaping purposes.  Meanwhile we need to continue and increase consumer education regarding the benefits of landscaping with native trees, shrubs, herbs, and grasses, and rework "weed ordinances" such that they allow for all *but* noxious and invasive plants.

I could go on about the need for innovative materials and design in shipping containers, vastly more comprehensive port inspections....I don't like the fact that currently the entire burden falls upon my fine colleagues on this listserv.

Happy New Year to everyone.


Eric R. Eaton
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Lead author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Co-author, Insects Did It First (2018) with Gregory S. Paulson

On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 7:24 AM Miller, Scott <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The journal “Biological Invasions” has published a set of papers commissioned by the US National Invasive Species Council on the topic of “Early Detection of and Rapid Response (EDRR) to invasive species: a conceptual framework and federal capacities assessment.”  Many of the papers are relevant to readers of this list, but the following open access pdf may be of particular interest (note that it was written in the context of the US Government’s capacity to identify invasive species, not as a general review of the state of taxonomy).


Capacity of United States federal government and its partners to rapidly and accurately report the identity (taxonomy) of non-native organisms intercepted in early detection programs


Abstract: The early detection of and rapid response to invasive species (EDRR) depends on accurate and rapid identification of non-native species. The 2016–2018 National Invasive Species Council Management Plan called for an assessment of US government (federal) capacity to report on the identity of non-native organisms intercepted through early detection programs. This paper serves as the response to that action item. Here we summarize survey-based findings and make recommendations for improving the federal government’s capacity to identify non-native species authoritatively in a timely manner. We conclude with recommendations to improve accurate identification within the context of EDRR by increasing coordination, maintaining taxonomic expertise, creating an identification tools clearinghouse, developing and using taxonomic standards for naming and identification protocols, expanding the content of DNA and DNA Barcode libraries, ensuring long-term sustainability of biological collections, and engaging and empowering citizens and citizen science groups.