Leafy Spurge

By Naomi Tang

What is Leafy Surge?

Leafy spurge is a noxious weed and an invasive species. A noxious weed is a weed that is harmful to the environment, other plants, and animal. It is very easy for leafy spurge to take over a field because it releases toxins that prevent other plants in the area from growing. Therefore, other plants in the area aren't able to grow. This plant is extremely hard to get rid of because of its deep roots. Leafy spurge also produces a milky liquid that irritates most livestock and humans. It can cause a severe rash to break out on our skin. Leafy spurge is native to southern and central Europe.

What does it Look Like?

The stems of the plant can grow up to a meter tall. The leaves are blue-green in colour and turn yellow or orange red in late summer. The flowers of the plant don't have many petals and are yellow in colour.
Big image

My Action Plan

Goal: get rid of all or most of the leafy spurge in Canada without harming the enviroment

Get rid of leafy spurge using biological control and herbicides.


We can...

  • transport brown dotted beetles to Canada and release them in areas with lots of leafy spurge
  • mow the leafy spurge that has been eaten every 3-5 months
  • get farmers to allow their sheep to graze on leafy spurge
  • buy sheep
-risk the sheep getting sick
  • apply herbicides to areas infested with leafy spurge
  • dig up leafy spurge plants
- hard because they go very deep

- can't use large machinery in wildlife areas. it might harm other living species.

How long will this take?

2016-2030

This should take about 14 years because:

a) we have to capture and transport thousands of beetles to Canada

b) it will take a while for the beetles to eat all of the leafy spurge in Canada

c) herbicides will have to be applied multiple times a year before the plant is completely gone

Who will be responsible for making sure this plan works?

The Canadian government
  • Funding/cost
  • Buying any needed materials/resources
  • People to do the work


Organizations (ex. Nature Conservancy of Canada)
  • People to do the work
  • Cost


Canadian Citizens
  • Report any sightings of leafy spurge that the government doesn't know about
  • Volunteer to help

What we need to make this happen?

  • 9,000 beetles (Flea or Brown dot) - cost around $12,000-$15,000 + more if 9,000 is not progressing fast enough
  • cages/container to keep beetles in - cost around $600
  • truck to transport supplies in - government or organization should already have
  • gas to fuel the truck - around $100
  • people to drive truck, put beetles in cages, release beetles, decide where to release beetles,dig up plants, apply herbicides, etc.
  • lawn mowers - cost around $400-$500 for 1
  • herbicides - $1,000,000
Total about $1.5 million and up

How we can track our progress and what happens after we reach our goal

Before we start find out how many meter squares leafy spurge covers (approximately). Then, every two years after you start record how many meter squares leafy spurge covers again. If after 2 years the number has decreased very little buy more beetles and apply herbicides more often to speed up the process. At the end of 2030 find out how many meter squares the leafy spurge cover. If the number is 0 we have reached our goal. If there is still some leafy spurge continue this plan for as long as it takes. Continue to mow and apply herbicides so any remains of the plant do not bloom.

Ways we can save money

  • not use sheep because if they get sick that would result in someone having to pay medical bills which can cost A LOT
  • if we do buy sheep buy don't buy dolan sheep because they cost up to $2.2 million. We could buy another type of sheep for less than $450
  • government has lawn mowers then we won't have to buy new ones
  • if government already has some of the supplies we need use to use rather tan buy new ones.

Why should we start now?

If we start now leafy spurge won't have more time to spread. It has already spread to a few states in the U.S. If leafy spurge spreads even more it will cost more to get rid of it. Basically, it is cheaper to get rid of it now than to get rid of it later on. It would also be one less problem for the government.
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This is a map showing which areas in Canada and U.S have been infested with leafy spurge. Shown in green

Why is this the best plan

  • Using some biological control is better than using just chemicals that can harm the environment. We are trying to help the environment not harm it.
  • The beetles will not become a problem because they have been tested and are not going to harm other species
  • Leafy spurge is the ONLY source of food for the beetles eat. If they are unable to find any more they will die.
  • It is less work because we are letting the beetles some of the work
  • according to Goodwin, Sheley, Norwierski, and Lym "Aphthona nigriscutis (flea beetles) have been most successful in establishing and controlling leafy spurge in dry, open, sandy-loam sites in Canada and the United States."

Bibliography


NCC. 2015 "Leafy spurge"

http://natureconservancy.ca January 6,2016


Bugs in Cyberspace 2016 Beetles

http://shop.bugsincyberspace.com/ January 7,2016


Amazon 2016 Milestone Specialty Herbcide with Aminopyrald for Noxious and Invasive Weeds-Quart 6666085

http://www.amazon.com/ January 7, 2016


Mike Cowbrough- Chief Weed Inspector Ontario Weeds Act/OMAFRA March 2003 Noxious Weeds Profile - Leafy Spurge

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/ January 18, 2016


Kim Goodwin, Roger Sheley, Robert Nowierski and Rodney Lym 2001 Leafy Spurge: Biology, Ecology and Management

http://www.sheepinstitute.montana.edu/articles/eb134.pdf January 19,2016


Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 2010 Parasitism of the biological control agent Hyles euphorbiae (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) by Winthemia datanae (Diptera: Tachinidae): a new host record

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/ January 19,2016


My Little Sheep Farm 2013 For Sale

http://www.mylittlesheep.com/ January 19,2016