Biocontrol: Fighting Invasives with...Invasives

Oct 19, 2016

 We kick off the second season of NHPR's newest show, Outside/In, with a discussion of  biological control: using non-native species to combat destructive invasive pests and plants that are decimating a local species.  It's the focus of the Outside/In episode titled "Never Bring a Sledgehammer to a Scalpel Fight."  This approach to managing invasive species, used by scientists for over a century, has had some spectacular failures, but there have been many success stories as well.  We'll look at the history of the approach, the arguments for and against, and examine the philosophical implications.  Is biological control messing with Mother Nature or our only hope against invasive species changing the landscape?   


 GUESTS: 

  • Sam Evans-Brown, host of NHPR's Outside/In
  • Mark Hoddle - Specialist in Biological Control in the Department of Entomology with the University of California at Riverside.   
  • Dan Simberloff -  Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and editor of the Encylopedia of Biological Invasions.

LISTEN:  

LINKS:

  • Learn more about damaging insects and diseases at NHBugs.org.
  • The UNH Cooperative Extension also has information on invasive pests.
  • NH Fish & Game also regulates invasive species and has customized town strategies.
  • The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food has a fact sheet with frequently asked questions about purple loosestrife.

Here's a video put together by the Outside/In team about biocontrol:
 

A satellite view of devastation caused by the gypsy moth in the spring of 2016:

The state of New Hampshire has different management zones for the Emerald Ash Borer. The management zones shown on this map can help landowners and municipalities determine where they are in relation to the affected areas and, in turn, when they should start managing their ash trees.

Feeling anxious about N.H. forests? Take a moment to bask in the tranquility of the trees, with a 360-degree view broadcast from a spot deep in the middle of the Harvard Forest, thanks to the Harvard University Richardson Lab.