Recap of September 2023 First Friday with Florida First Detector
For our September First Fridays with Florida First Detector, we revisited some basics about invasive species and their impacts on Florida. An invasive species is a non-native species that causes some kind of damage to humans. This can be economic losses in agriculture or horticulture, negative impacts on the environment or natural resources, or harm to human or animal health. In some cases, one invasive species can cause more than one issue. For example, the giant African land snail (Lissachatina fulica) is an issue for agriculture, horticulture, and natural areas. This species also harms native species and can be a hazard for human and animal health because of the parasite it can carry.
Florida is a high risk for the introduction and establishment of invasive species. This is because of Florida has many points of entry like deep water ports and international airports. Additionally, tourism brings many people and goods to the state every year. Florida’s mild winters and diverse climates allow for many non-native species to thrive once they arrive in the state.
While there are many organizations that work on invasive species, it is up to everyone to help stop the spread of invasive species. You can help stop the spread in a few different ways. First of all, be careful not to move invasive pests around. If you are traveling, avoid taking plants, plant materials or fresh fruits and veggies, unless they have been properly inspected. If you work in agriculture or horticulture, make sure any plant materials you purchase are properly inspected and pest free before bringing them to your farm or operation.
For anyone who is out working with plants regularly, be on the lookout for pests you have never seen before or unusual damage to plants. If you find something you don’t recognize, submit a sample for identification. You just might be the first person to find a new pest in your area!
You can also attend invasive species volunteer round up events or invasive species educational trainings to help around your local community and learn more about issues in your area. If you are in an area with any ongoing invasive species management (ie. quarantines, eradication programs, etc.), be sure to follow any local restrictions.
Resources for Diagnostics
- UF/IFAS Diagnostic Services (Plant Disease, Insects, Nematodes, Soil/Water, Plant/Weed, etc.)
- Distance Diagnostic and Identification System
- Your Local County Extension Office
- FDACS Sample Submission
Resources on Invasive Species
- Florida Invasive Species Council
- Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas
- Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey
- National Plant Diagnostic Network
- National Invasive Species Information Center
- Protect U.S.
- UF IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas
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What is the upcoming schedule?
We are meeting online via Zoom from 12:00PM-1:00PM on the First Friday of every month from Sept 2022-Aug 2024. Please visit this blog for registration information and the upcoming schedule for Sept 2023-2024.
Contact Dr. Morgan Pinkerton, email@example.com
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