Early Detection, Rapid Response

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Interior, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response, recognizes invasive species as one of the most significant ecological threats to America’s natural resources. As directed by the Whitehouse’s Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) will use the reports’ recommendations to work with a multi-stakeholder task force to create a national framework for Early Detection Rapid Response.

The creation of a national framework for EDRR by the NISC will support the efforts of stakeholders by:

  1. Establishing a multi-stakeholder EDRR Task Force

  2. Convening high-level decision makers to assess funding mechanisms for a nation-wide preparedness and an emergency response initiative

  3. Advancing pilot projects targeted for high priority areas

  4. Scaling partnerships across government and with private, non-profit, and scientific communities

  5. Fostering the development and application of innovative scientific and technical approaches to EDRR

Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) proves a critical tool in identifying an invasive species (IS) problem, and containing or eradicating it before it becomes widely established. The eradication of an invasive species reduces the environmental and economic costs associated with both the loss of ecosystem services due to the invasion, and also greatly reduces the cost of managing the problem of an invasion over time.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is currently working to deploy EDRR in response to a newly identified invasive species threat in Portland, Oregon - the Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) Lymantria dispar asiatica. The AGM is a subspecies of the dreaded European gypsy moth (EGM), who are widely known for their prolific destruction of forests on the East Coast. Unfortunately, the AGM is even better suited to wreck havoc than the EGM, as the AGM has a much broader host range, and the female moth is able to fly, allowing the populations to expand further and quicker than the feared EGM. In response to the threat of losing Portland’s prized urban forests to an invasive species, the ODA treated affected areas with an aerial application of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (BTK) in the early Spring 2016.

We will keep our fingers crossed that the timely use of EDRR proves successful in eradicating AGM before it establish’s in the deeply loved forest’s of Portland, Oregon!

The attention to the importance of combating invasive species and the development of national protocols are exciting developments! As communities work to protect and conserve their natural resources, EDRR will continue to prove an invaluable tool in the fight against invasive species.

Take a look at the report, “Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response” here: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/National%20EDRR%20Framework.pdf

Please, let us know what you think about these exciting developments!