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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Control Efforts for Purple Loosestrife Using Beetles Expand in Southern Indiana 

Region 3, July 2, 2013
Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management Director Alex Wardwell collecting beetles after learning how from IDNR Ecologist Rich Dunbar.
Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management Director Alex Wardwell collecting beetles after learning how from IDNR Ecologist Rich Dunbar. - Photo Credit: n/a
Purple loosestrife leaf eating beetle doing its job eating the invasive plant.  Capture and releasing beetles to other sites can help control this invasive species and reduce the spread of the plant in southern Indiana.
Purple loosestrife leaf eating beetle doing its job eating the invasive plant. Capture and releasing beetles to other sites can help control this invasive species and reduce the spread of the plant in southern Indiana. - Photo Credit: n/a
Some of the crew learning to capture leaf eating purple loosestrife beetles at the insectiary site. Representing partners from Indiana DNR, SICIM, Bloomington Parks, Monroe County-IRIS, Duke Energy and The Nature Conservancy.
Some of the crew learning to capture leaf eating purple loosestrife beetles at the insectiary site. Representing partners from Indiana DNR, SICIM, Bloomington Parks, Monroe County-IRIS, Duke Energy and The Nature Conservancy. - Photo Credit: n/a

On May 30, 2013 12 people met for a purple loosestrife leaf eating beetle collection work day at Yellow wood State Forest that was facilitated by Partners for Wildlife Biologist Knowles and Indiana Department of Natural Resources Ecologist Dunbar. The collection day went well and we now have about a dozen new people in southern Indiana who are "experts" on purple loosestrife beetles.

Two releases occurred from the collection efforts. One at the Duke plant in New Albany (400-500 beetles) and one along the Interstate 65 median north of Seymour (400 beetles). This should help the 35 County Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management Area with control efforts for purple loosestrife in southern Indiana. As more purple loosestrife is found in southern Indiana, we can do releases if needed as part of the Early Detection Rapid Response Stategy to control invasive species.

The group is developing a strategy knowing where we have existing populations from past releases in order to collect and release to other infestations of the invasive purple loosestrife. Partners include Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management, Bloomington Parks, Monroe County-Identify and Reduce Invasive Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partner for Fish and Wildlife, Duke Energy, and The Nature Conservancy.

Contact Info: Susan Knowles, (812) 522-4352, Susan_Knowles@fws.gov