NY Emerald Ash Borer Biosurveillance Training

As you are most likely aware, emerald ash borer (EAB) presents one of the biggest threats to our trees in New York and the northeast. It has already been found in Randolph, NY and may be located elsewhere, undetected. Currently the purple prism traps hung in ash trees, detection trees, and visual inspection are the only tools used to monitor for EAB.

Recent work done by Philip Careless of the University of Guelph has developed to a new monitoring tool. The common digger wasp, Cerceris fumipennis, a natural hunter of Buprestidae is extremely efficient in hunting the members of the local buprestid community. It has been shown to find EAB at low population levels, where purple prism traps are not effective. A large colony of these wasps can bring in over 20 beetles in an hour to quickly assess whether EAB is present or not.

Working with the DEC and USFS, we are trying to locate colonies and monitor for EAB across New York State. Similar work in New England, most notably by Colleen Teerling, an entomologist for Maine Forest Service, has been successful because of the volunteer support she has received. Volunteers assist in locating colonies, ‘adopting’ them, and collecting the beetles brought in by C. fumipennis for an afternoon or two in the summer (think lawnchair, sun umbrella and cold beverages).

We will host a training session on August 6th, 2009 in Syracuse at SUNY-ESF. The training will be comprised of a presentation on C. fumipennis at 10:30am (general biology, past, present and future work, Q and As) and then in the early afternoon we will visit a nearby colony to see them in action and demonstrate how biosurveillance works. We should be done no later than 3 pm. If you can, keep August 7th as a back up day in the case of rain on Wednesday.

Please forward this to anyone who may be interested and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Please RSVP at atmospherical5@hotmail.com with the number in your party. More information on the wasp and biosurveillance can be found at http://cerceris.info.

Warren Hellman
EAB Biosurveillance NYS-DEC
SUNY-ESF
Syracuse, NY

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