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You are here: Home / News and Events / In the News / Apr 2012
News and Events
In the News

Apr 2012

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.

Asian carp

Flooding Disperses Invasive Plant, Fish Species (Apr 29, 2012)
Fox News; Associated Press.
Asian carp are in direct competition with native aquatic species for food and habitat. Their rapid population increase is disrupting the ecology and food web of the large rivers of the Midwest, including the Missouri River. Last year's hurricanes and flooding not only engulfed homes and carried away roads and bridges in hard-hit areas of the country, it dispersed aggressive invasive species as well. See additional related news from USGS's Invasive Carp Research Program.


USDA's Chief Veterinary Officer on the Recent BSE Case (aka Mad Cow) (Apr 25, 2012)
USDA. Blog.
On Apr 24, USDA confirmed the nation's 4th case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in an animal that was sampled for the disease at a rendering facility in central California. This animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food and milk supply, or to human health in the U.S. See BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or Mad Cow Disease) from USDA for more information.

Beetle Busters

Let's End Beetlemania Together (Apr 24, 2012)
USDA. Blog.
Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an an invasive insect that feeds on certain species of hardwood trees, eventually killing them. Since its discovery in the U.S., the beetle has caused tens-of-thousands of trees to be destroyed in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and most recently in Ohio. Help stop the Asian longhorned beetle's destruction by raising awareness about the pest and report any signs or symptoms of an infestation immediately.

American bullfrog

Medical Fight Against Cancer May Hold Lessons for Battling Aquatic Invasive Species (Apr 23, 2012)
Department of Interior.
Lessons learned from the medical community's progress in fighting cancer can provide a framework to help prevent the introduction and spread of harmful aquatic invasive species, according to a study released in American Scientist. Scientists outline five integrated steps used in cancer prevention and treatment that could be adapted to use in battling invasive species: prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment options and rehabilitation. See article Aquatic Invasive Species: Lessons from Cancer Research (May-Jun 2012). The study used the example of invasive American bullfrogs in the Yellowstone River as a case study for applying the cancer-treatment approach to aquatic invasions in the Northern Rockies.


Earth Day -- Apr 22, 2012
Earth Day Network.
Earth Day Network is partnered with National Environmental Education Week (Apr 15-21, 2012), which annually promotes understanding and protection of the natural world by actively engaging K-12 students and educators of all environmental subjects (see Educators' Network for lesson plans). See What You Can Do to help control invasive species.

Asian Carp

Study Details Illinois' Asian Carp Issue, Solutions (Apr 20, 2012)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The Saluki Times.
Asian carp, that large, invasive fish known for leaping out of a river into boats when startled, now make up more than 60 percent of the total fish biomass in one of Illinois' major river systems, a research team led by Southern Illinois University Carbondale has found. But the team members’ advice for controlling the species goes something like this "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em." Asian carp are by far the world’s most cultured fish because they are a healthful source of protein and perhaps omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, unlike so many nuisance or invasive species, these problematic fishes in the U.S. have one positive aspect: they can be converted to desirable food for both human and nonhuman consumption. See Fishing Down the Bighead and Silver Carps: Reducing the Risk of Invasion to the Great Lakes: Research Summary (Apr 2012; PDF | 351 KB).

Emerald ash borer

Go Purple and Save an Ash Tree (Apr 17, 2012)
USDA. Blog.
These purple traps will be seen this spring and summer throughout Maryland and 46 other states that are participating in the 2012 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) survey. The purple traps help State and Federal officials to uncover signs of the invasive, tree-killing EAB. See Q&A: USDA's 2012 Emerald Ash Borer Survey for more information (Mar 2012; PDF | 44 KB).

Little brown bat with fungus on muzzle (White-nose syndrome) -  NY Dept of Envrionmental Conservation

Bat-killing Fungus is a European Import (Apr 9, 2012)
Society for Science & the Public. Science News.
The fungal pathogen Geomyces destructans, introduced into North America from Europe, is the likely cause of white-nose syndrome (WNS), an epidemic that has killed millions of North American bats, according to a study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Apr 9, 2012).

Chestnut blight - A range of chestnut trees that fell victim to chestnut blight.

UCSB Study Shows Forest Insects and Diseases Arrive in U.S. Via Imported Plants (Apr 9, 2012)
University of California - Santa Barbara.
The trade in live plants from around the world has become a major industry in the U.S., with new imports now valued at more than $500 billion annually. According to a study conducted by researchers at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, however, what has proved to be a boon for the economy has also been shown to have devastating effects on the environment. The multidisciplinary working group found that almost 70 percent of the most damaging non-native forest insects and diseases currently afflicting U.S. forests arrived via imported live plants.

Honey bee

Use of Common Pesticide Linked to Bee Colony Collapse (Apr 5, 2012)
Harvard University. School of Public Health.
The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies, known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health. Pinpointing the cause of the problem is crucial because bees -- beyond producing honey -- are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of the crop species in the U.S. and livestock feed. Massive loss of honeybees could result in billions of dollars in agricultural losses, experts estimate.

Hungry Pests

USDA Urges Americans to Prevent Invasive Pests, Protect American Agriculture (Apr 2, 2012)
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that it is dedicating the month of April to sharing information about the threat that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America's fruits, vegetables, trees, and other plants-and how the public can help prevent their spread.

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