Innovations in Invasive Species Management Conference 2019
I attended a wonderful conference in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, put on by Steve Manning and his group at Invasive Plant Control from December 10-12, 2019. One theme: rodent eradication! Dickie Hall, Habitat Restoration Project Director, talked about the complete eradication of rats on the Island of South Georgia. The island is a treeless tundra not far from Antarctica. This is a huge win for many bird species that nest on South Georgia (and two species endemic to the island). The South Georgia Heritage Trust sponsored the restoration. Dickie also gave a talk on the planned eradication of mice on Gough Island. The mice eat Albatross chicks and other birds and have devastated avian populations. I won’t even link to the videos on YouTube which you can easily find if you are so inclined.
Dan Tompkins gave another great talk on making New Zealand predator free by 2050. This is a massive undertaking to eliminate alien predators (rats, opossums, and stoats) that kill all sorts of native wildlife including the kiwi.
In our work focused on terrestrial invasive plants (not growing on isolated islands) total eradication is nearly impossible. Nonetheless, these talks were inspiring. And, anyone who has been on a restored native prairie knows the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of being in a native landscape. Perfection is not required!
My talk focused on precision herbicide applications using our Precision Electronic Dispenser. The key thing to remember about the Green Shoots® products is that they all reduce off-target harm from herbicides. Traditional high-pressure spray from backpacks inevitably causes off-target harm. Native plants are highly valuable, especially mature native perennials that may have been alive for as long as 30-40 years. You should do everything you can to preserve the health of those native plants when you are spot spraying nearby them!