The Anne Springs Close Greenway Partners with Clemson Cooperative Extension to Monitor Invasive Species
The Anne Springs Close Greenway strives to preserve its 2,100 acres for community recreation and education, as well as ecological conservation. To serve as stewards of the protected acreage, Greenway staff aims to foster the growth of native vegetation and stop the damage often caused by invasive species.
One of the many ways the Greenway combats federally listed invasive species is through the careful monitoring of insect populations.
Alex Cifra, Natural Resources Coordinator at the Greenway, works diligently alongside the rest of the Greenway’s Natural Resources team and external partners in these conservation efforts. Cifra recently partnered with the Clemson Cooperative Extension’s Plant Industry Regulatory Services to monitor invasive insects that threaten the Carolinas.
Thomas ‘Kip’ Beam, Survey Specialist from Plant Industry Regulatory Services sets and carefully monitors invasive insect traps around South Carolina, including here at the Greenway.
At the Greenway, Beam currently sets traps for Exotic Bark Beetle Ips (ips). All three ips traps on Greenway property hang on tree branches and include a lure to bait the insects. Lures are supplied through a grant and are biodegradable.
Beam checks the samples every two weeks through six-week sample periods. Beam ships the collected samples to Clemson University prior to their distribution to the federal laboratory for further analysis and tracking.
No ips have been found on Greenway property, which is news that Cifra and Beam like to hear. Despite the lack of sightings, Beam reiterated the importance of prevention and early detection.
According to Clemson University’s Plant Industry Regulatory Services website, “Before a pest becomes established, careful monitoring can detect a pest early. Early detection allows for a rapid response from stakeholders who can move to eradicate or control pest infestations, reducing environmental and economic impacts.”
An outbreak of ips can quickly and aggressively wipe out entire pine stands. Once pine trees show signs of infestation, including change in needle color, pitch tubes or exit holes, the affected trees will not benefit from insecticide treatments.
The Greenway is thankful for the diligence of its Natural Resources team’s efforts, as well as the efforts of other conservation-focused organizations, such as the Clemson Cooperative Extension. To further these efforts, please consider a donation, and refrain from bringing external sticks, vegetation and firewood to the Greenway.
More information about common pine bark beetles can be found on the Clemson Cooperative Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center website.