[MPWG] introduction of predator beetles to eastern forest environments

cafesombra at aol.com cafesombra at aol.com
Thu May 26 08:42:47 CDT 2005

Forwarded message from PA Wildlands Recovery Project
FYI, note this report does not indicate if lab-bred predator beetles are natives, but even if they are, how far does the precautionary principle let us go down the road of "managed" species introductions?   
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new lab at the University of Tennessee will help scientists combat a harmful exotic insect targeting hemlock trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other areas. 
Researchers at the Lindsay Young Beneficial Insects Laboratory can raise several species of predator beetles that feed on the hemlock woolly adelgid — a tiny insect from China and Japan. The adelgid kills hemlock trees by sucking sap from the needles. 
The lab is one of only about four of its kind in the country. Scientists there can raise as many as 100,000 beetles a year. 
Many consider the predator beetle as the best biological control for reducing infestations of hemlock woolly adelgids, which have killed more than 80 percent of the hemlock trees in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. 
In Tennessee, officials say the pest is concentrated at the northern end of the Cherokee National Forest, which covers 640,000 acres in several counties. 
``The best-case scenario is that the predator beetles will reproduce and eventually bring the population of hemlock woolly adelgids down to a non-damaging level,'' said Kris Johnson, supervisory forester for the Smokies. 
Hemlock trees often grow along streams and provide shade to fish and other aquatic species that depend upon cool water in the summer. The Smokies contain almost 90,000 acres of forest where hemlock trees are a significant component. Some of the trees are at least 150 years old. 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.plantconservation.org/pipermail/mpwg_lists.plantconservation.org/attachments/20050526/808dff09/attachment.html>

More information about the MPWG mailing list