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Ongoing Work on Invasive Forest Pests
(September 2013)


The European woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, is a threat to pine forests in the southern hemisphere and has become established in the State of New York.

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International Programs and partners are continuing to address invasive species, a growing problem in American forests.  Collectively, the pests inflict millions of dollars of damage to the US economy every year–and researchers estimate there are at least 20 destructive forest pests likely to enter the US in the coming decade. Conversely, the threat of invasive species is often manipulated by countries and cited as phytosanitary barriers to US exports.  Some updates to our ongoing efforts include:

Sirex woodwasp:  This pest can be destructive to a wide range of pine species due to the fact that damage occurs during both the pests’ larval and adult life stages. Further, a symbiotic fungus that co-occurs with the Sirex decomposes the tree.  Of particular concern is the damage the pest does to some economically and ecologically important species of pine trees in the USA.  While the pest has already caused some minor damage here, the species holds potential to cause significant damage once it spreads—as predicted— into the pine regions of the southern and Lake States.  

New information resource: With support from the US Forest Service, Dartmouth College has created a new information resource for the US public or anyone concerned about the Sirex woodwasp.  For the general public, it will provide a brief summary of woodwasp biology, house a collection of woodwasp-related images, list upcoming meetings related to woodwasps, and provide brief summaries of current research projects on woodwaps. Additionally, the website provides an information-sharing tool for the Sirex working group, comprised of researchers and land managers.  Members create a profile, giving them access to a searchable database to find potential collaborators research interests.  Members can also upload images, publications or presentations, and brief summaries on their current research.   Ultimately, the hope is that the site will promote regional, national, and international collaboration and communication among researchers and managers working with woodwasps.

right arrowPlease click here for past newsbits articles.

right arrowLATEST: Branching Out, the International Visitor Program newsletter (October 2013) :

IVP newsletter

right arrow 2014 Conservation Awards

Nominations for the 2014 Wings Across the Americas Conservation Awards are now open! The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Denver, Colorado.

Nominations should be sent by December 16, 2013, to: Liza Paqueo at If you have any questions, please call Greg Butcher at 202-644-4551 or email at Please help us recognize the great work your colleagues are doing!

1) Letter from the Chief of the US Forest Service

2) WATA Nomination Form

3) WATA Awards Criteria

4) About WATA

right arrow Flylines, the
Wings Across the Americas
newsletter (March 2013):

WATA newsletter


EAB update:  Another pest which is particularly destructive to U.S. forests is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  International Programs is supporting collaboration with the Agriculture Research Service and partners in China where the EAB is endemic and has natural enemies.   Finding natural predators for the pest, which is far more effective than traditional suppression methods, can be a useful way to control the EAB in the United States.   Ongoing efforts include field work this past spring and summer in Northeast China.   The focus was on girdling trees and tracking the results, particularly the appearance of emerging EAB pests and the presence of wasps.  The wasps are critical as they feed on the EAB and can help to prevent uncontrolled EAB outbreaks.  This fall, US Forest Service and the Agriculture Research Service colleagues will travel to China to sample part of the girdled trees for wood-boring insects and their natural enemies.  The team will also look for potential study trees in several locations in Kunming, in China’s Southwest.

right arrowPlease click here for past newsbits articles.

(in PDF. Each newsletter will open in Adobe Acrobat.)

A. International Programs' What's New?

B. International Visitor Programs' Branching Out

C. Wings Across the Americas Programs' Flylines




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