Science by foot: Invasive alien species in the Grund district of Luxembourg City

On Tuesday 7th August 2018 from 18:30 to 20:00, in the frame of its Science Tuesdays series, the National Museum of Natural History organised a scientific walk through the Grund district. Dr Christian Ries, curator of the Department of Ecology, gave explanations about a dozen invasive alien species to the 20 people in attendance. In its edition of 9th August 2018, the Luxembourg Newspaper Journal published a small article about the event.

Anonymous, 2018. Ohne Widerstand – Naturmusée-Führung zum Thema invasive Arten. Rubrik Uechter d’Land. Journal 09/08/2018, p. 19.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Aedes albopictus: Public petition for a public health policy submitted to Luxembourg parliament

A public petition (n°1071) for a public health policy that effectively combats the implantation of tiger mosquitoes, vectors of diseases, in Luxembourg, was introduced on 10th July 2018 and is open to signatures until 19th September 2018 (Bomfim 2018).

Text of the petition (translated from French)

This petition aims to start a debate that will lead to a number of effective actions to combat the implantation of tiger mosquitoes in Luxembourg. This invasive species has no natural predators and can not only unbalance the ecosystem, but also bring tropical diseases to Luxembourg. Among the possible actions that should be discussed as a result of this petition, we can list:

  • a study of the regions of Luxembourg with the greatest potential for tiger mosquito invasion;
  • campaigns to raise public awareness of measures to combat the tiger mosquito (garden maintenance, elimination of stagnant water deposits);
  • education campaigns in schools and colleges on the invasiveness of tiger mosquitoes and preventive measures;
  • special maintenance and vigilance measures in rest areas where motor homes from southern Europe stop and which potentially contain tiger mosquitoes;
  • monitoring the presence of tiger mosquitoes in cities, countryside and forests via traps (instrumentation used for example in Italian regions).

Motivation of the general interest of the petition: The tiger mosquito is a vector of diseases such as dengue, Nile fever and chikungunya. If the invasion of mosquitoes is not controlled, the importation of these diseases will become an additional burden for health services, in days off work and school absence, not to mention a great disturbance for the population and a devaluation of the country’s rural areas.

References

Bomfim, JAS, 2018. Pétition publique n°1071 – Pour une politique de santé publique qui combatte effectivement l’implantation des moustiques tigres, vecteurs de maladies, au Luxembourg. URL: https://chd.lu/wps/portal/public/Accueil/TravailALaChambre/Petitions/RoleDesPetitions?action=doPetitionDetail&id=1274 [08/08/2018].

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

First evidence of Aedes japonicus in Luxembourg

3 female imagoes of Aedes japonicus (Theobald, 1901) were captured on 4th July 2018 in Stolzembourg in the valley of the Our (Oesling). Field exploration on 1st and 2nd August showed the East Asian bush mosquito is also present in Bivels, Vianden, Wahlhausen and Gemünd (D). Further investigations will be undertaken in August to assess the geographical distribution of the species in Luxembourg.

Aedes japonicus is a mosquito species originally native to Japan, Korea and southern China, and is important for humans as a potential vector of pathogens such as the West Nile virus and of various types of encephalitis viruses.

The species is already established in the Province of Namur (Belgium), in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate (Kreis Ahrweiler) and Hesse (Germany), and in Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vosges (France).

Advice for the population

Web pages

Flyers

Useful links

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

EU published Delegated Regulation on IAS risk assessments

The European Commission published today in the Official Journal the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/968 of 30 April 2018 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to risk assessments in relation to invasive alien species.

All language versions are available here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.174.01.0005.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2018:174:TOC

Communicated by the IAS team of the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission.

Note: All documents and information related to the IAS Regulation can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Movie on IAS by Chamber-TV

Within the framework of the draft law n°7205 implementing the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 on IAS 1, the Luxembourg Parliament TV (Chamber-TV) explains the context in a movie published on Facebook.

Link to the video in case your browser doesn’t show the movie on this page.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Website neobiota.lu relaunched

At the beginning of April 2018 the website neobiota.lu was relaunched. In addition to a new WordPress theme that is still compatible with all possible screen sizes, the 136 Internet pages on which individual invasive species are presented have been updated. On each species page a reporting link is provided which opens the corresponding reporting page on the data portal of the National Museum of Natural History. As soon as a listed invasive alien species is reported, an alert email is automatically sent to members of IAS Group Luxembourg, who dispatch the information to experts in charge of data validation. This procedure constitutes a crucial tool in early detection of IAS.

A number of new Internet pages have been added, including the list of IAS of EU concern and the Black, Watch, Alert Lists and a full listing of IAS relevant to Luxembourg.

If you, dear readers, notice any inconsistencies or typing errors, please do not hesitate to → inform us.

Christian Ries & Manou Pfeiffenschneider

 Page content last updated on 2018-06-11.

Public conference on IAS – 20 March 2018 @ MNHNL

Presentation slides in PDF format

Invasive alien species of Luxembourg and EU concern

European regulation and challenges for Luxembourg

In order to combat invasive alien species with a significant impact on biodiversity, public health or the economy, a European regulation (No. 1143/2014) defines a whole range of measures and obligations. Member States must therefore, among other things, set up a monitoring system, provide for management measures or even eradication, and impose restrictions on the keeping and marketing of these species.

The conference aims to give an overview of the obligations arising from these regulations and to present the targeted species with a particular focus on those already present in Luxembourg. Finally, the widely used species’ action plans currently under development will be presented.

Within the framework of setting up a surveillance system in Luxembourg, the contribution of field workers is a key element. The conference is also intended to motivate naturalists and other interested parties to share their observations.

Detailed program

  1. The European Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species – Nora Elvinger (MDDI)
  2. Species covered by European regulations – Sandra Cellina (ANF), Carole Molitor (AGE), Christian Ries (MNHNL)
  3. Action Plans for the Management of Widely Spread Alien Species – Tiago de Sousa (ANF)

Organisation: Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure – Environment Department (MDDI), Nature and Forestry Administration (ANF), Water Management Administration (AGE), National Museum of Natural History (MNHNL), The Luxembourg Naturalist Society (SNL), Association of Luxembourg Biologists (ABIOL).

Registration

Registration requested by email at

Invitation [French, PDF 294 KB]

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-12. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-12.

Spot the cherry laurel – A citizen science survey with children

The children’s magazine Panewippchen, edited for the members of the Panda Club of the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History, has published an interview with Dr Christian Ries, curator of the Department of Ecology:

  • Schaltz, Michèle, 2017. Fuerschung am ‘Natur Musée’: Ekologie. Panewippchen 4: 6-11. [PDF 2.2 MB]

The last page of the article encourages the young readers to participate in a citizen science survey concerning the recent spread into the wild of the cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus L.), a common garden plant in Luxembourg, mostly planted to build hedges. Fruits can be dispersed over long distances by birds.

Interested children are asked to look in the forests around their neighbourhood, the evergreen cherry laurel being very easy to spot in winter time, when trees and shrubs lose their leaves.

The children are asked to send the following basic information to :

  1. How many cherry laurel individuals have been spotted?
  2. Where were they spotted (using GPS of portable devices)
  3. Observer’s name, age, address and email address.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

DNADIVE – New research project on invasive crayfish

See the project web page at https://faune-flore.lu/dnadive/

DNADIVE aims to develop a molecular toolbox enabling eDNA detection for Invasive crayfish in streams of Luxembourg. This Public2 Partnership project was accepted by FNR in November 2017 and will start on 1st January 2018. The project will be hosted by Fondation faune-flore and its principal investigator will be the French researcher Dr David Porco. Project partnership: Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History (MNHNL), Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST), Water management Agency (AGE), Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure (MDDI), University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany).

Abstract

DNADIVE aims to develop a toolbox for the molecular monitoring of invasive crayfish in the streams of Luxembourg. Three exotic species (Orconectes limosus, Pacifastacus leniusculus and Astacus leptodactylus) and a native one (Astacus astacus) will be targeted for the project.

This molecular toolbox will encompass several techniques of detection comprising (1) a simple amplification method easily performed in a laboratory with few elements, (2) a digital droplet amplification (ddPCR) which is a more elaborated lab method that can allow for a higher detection sensitivity and a possible quantification of DNA that could be related through the proxy of biomass and abundance to the size of the populations detected and (3) an isotherm amplification method (iPCR) i.e. a simple, cost effective approach which will allow for field detection usable by untrained individuals.

The results will enable the development of a predictive species distribution model for the target species and to infer their impact on freshwater communities through the comparison with previous sampling campaigns. This set of methods has the high potential to efficiently contribute to early detection and routine monitoring of the invasive crayfish species in Luxembourg, thus allowing for timely and efficient decision-making and appropriate management.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-12. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-12.