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You are here: Home / News and Events / In the News / Apr 2011
News and Events
In the News

Apr 2011

Selected "In the News" items previously featured on NISIC for this month. See the In the News Archives to view previously posted items by year and month.

See our What's New section for current items of interest.

European Gypsy Moth

USDA Announces New Outreach Campaign to Prevent the Spread of Gypsy Moth (PDF | 42 KB) (Apr 28, 2011)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The new outreach campaign, "Your Move Gypsy Moth-Free," designed to stop the accidental spread of gypsy moth by people moving or traveling from moth-infested areas to uninfested areas. The campaign's goals are to raise awareness about how gypsy moths can devastate America's forests and community landscapes and to teach the public, as well as moving companies, how to prevent the spread of this pest.

Emerald ash borer

Developing Biocontrols to Contain a Voracious Pest (Apr 26, 2011)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
Researchers with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are testing a fungal pathogen that could be used as a biocontrol for the emerald ash borer, along with the release of non-stinging wasps that are the beetle's natural enemies. An entomologist with ARS is evaluating Beauveria bassiana, a fungus that is the active ingredient in a commercially available insecticide. Researchers have found that the fungus helps to control emerald ash borer beetles when it is applied to infested trees before wasps are released.

Deformed leopard frog. Infection with trematodes in this leopard frog caused extra legs to grow. (Credit: Photo by Pieter Johnson, courtesy of Oregon State University)

Global Catastrophic Amphibian Declines Have Multiple Causes, No Simple Solution (Apr 25, 2011)
Oregon State University.
Amphibian declines around the world have forced many species to the brink of extinction, are much more complex than realized and have multiple causes that are still not fully understood, researchers conclude in a new report. No one issue can explain all of the population declines that are occurring at an unprecedented rate, and much faster in amphibians than most other animals, the scientists conclude in a study just published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The amphibian declines are linked to natural forces such as competition, predation, reproduction and disease, as well as human-induced stresses such as habitat destruction, environmental contamination, invasive species and climate change, researchers said.


Top Ten Tips for Eco-tourists (Apr 21, 2011)
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
With many people starting to plan their annual holidays, IUCN has released a list of top ten tips for tourists who want to visit some of the most beautiful natural sites in the world without damaging the environment. Including -- Be careful if you're bringing plants or seeds back from your travels – check that they couldn't become invasive species.

Asian carp

Obama Administration to Host Public Meeting on Asian Carp in Chicago, IL (Apr 21, 2011)
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
White House Council on Environmental Quality Asian Carp Director John Goss will lead a public meeting of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) on Apr 28, 2011, to discuss the proactive efforts of the Obama Administration and the Great Lakes states to prevent Asian carp from establishing a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes.

Asian clams - Invasive.org

Species Profile -- Asian Clam
USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.
Asian clams are native to South East Asia and were first reported on the U.S. west coast around 1930. They have since spread to over 39 states. The Asian Clam is a prolific and highly competitive species that is capable of rapid growth and spread. Asian Clam can displace native species, reduce biodiversity, alter the food chain, and damage equipment (including boat motors, intake pipes, diving gear, commercial water systems).

ARS-developed seedless grapes, Autumn Royal

New Technique Improves Sensitivity of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) Pathogen Detection (Apr 21, 2011)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
ARS scientists have developed a more sensitive test called "Bio-PCR" that can provide better detection of many plant disease causing organisms. Bio-PCR works best with fast-growing bacteria such as Ralstonia solanacearum, which causes bacterial wilt of potato and tomato, and even detection of the slow-growing organism that causes Pierce's disease on grapes is improved.


Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green -- Apr 22, 2011
Earth Day Network.
Share your commitment to the environment and declare your Act of Green; take part by attending an Earth Day event near you. Learn more about Biodiversity Basics (PDF | 717 KB) and learn how you can make a difference and get involved.

Emerald ash borer

Scientists Exploit Ash Tree Pest's Chemical Communication (Apr 7, 2011)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
A USDA entomologist and his colleagues have identified a chemical sex attractant, or pheromone, of the emerald ash borer that could mean improved traps for monitoring and controlling the tree-killing beetle. The team has also used an electro-antennogram in identifying attractants for three parasitic wasp species that have been approved for release as biological control agents. Establishing natural enemies such as the wasps could help slow down the spread of the borer, creating a kind of equilibrium whereby fewer trees are lost to the beetle pest. Read more about the research in the article Waging War on a Voracious Pest: Efforts to Contain the Emerald Ash Borer published in the Apr 2011 issue of Agricultural Research Magazine.


Budget Cuts Would Eliminate The Nation's Only Federal Research Program for Aquatic Weed Control (Apr 4, 2011)
Weed Science Society of America.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineer's Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (APCRP) is the only federally authorized research initiative focused on effective, science-based strategies for managing invasive aquatic species. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has "zeroed out" this critical program in its 2012 Civil Works budget. The objective of the program is to develop cost-effective, environmentally compatible aquatic plant management technologies, which address national needs and priorities in water resources management. The APCRP conducts research on the biology, ecology, and management of invasive aquatic plants. Elimination of aquatic plant control research will undoubtedly have an enormous negative impact on our water resources.

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