White-nose syndrome has been spreading through U.S. bat populations since 2006 and has caused mass die-offs in various regions of the country. The syndrome is caused by Pd (Pseudogymnoascus destructans), a fungus that invades the skin of bats while they hibernate. USDA Forest Service wildlife biologists Roger Perry and Phillip Jordan conducted a study to calculate the survival rates of tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) in the Ouachita Mountains of west-central Arkansas. The research helps satisfy the need for robust estimates of population data amid the WNS outbreak. The scientists chose to study the tricolored bat because it is common across North America and has suffered substantial declines due to WNS. The research highlights the importance of maintaining and protecting small hibernation sites as they may be critical to the conservation of the tricolored bat species.
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USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to combat the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) in Cameron and Willacy Counties in Texas. Following the detection of this pest in Cameron and Willacy Counties in January 2020, APHIS put quarantines in place to contain this fruit fly and is conducting surveys to find and treat infestations. Mexican fruit fly is one of the world's most destructive invasive pests, attacking more than 40 different kinds of fruits and vegetables. This invasive fruit fly does not harm humans or animals but it poses a serious threat to the Texas citrus industry.
APHIS needs the public's help to limit this invasive fruit fly's spread. We are asking residents living or working within Mexican fruit fly quarantine areas to cooperate with survey teams and give them access to your property. Surveyors will have official credentials identifying them as U.S. Department of Agriculture or TDA employees. With the residents' permission, they will inspect fruit trees on residential properties in quarantine zones and hang traps. If APHIS or TDA detect Mexican fruit flies, they will work with residents and business owners to eradicate the pest from infested properties.
If you live in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and think you might have Mexican fruit flies on your property, please call APHIS at 956-421-4041. With your help, we can protect local agriculture and stop the spread of this destructive pest.
Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.
United States Senate. Mark R. Warner.
U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,549,891 in federal funding for the University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Tech to improve resources for the U.S. agricultural industry and rural communities. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) Initiative, which focuses on data-driven solutions to address problems facing the agricultural industry. Funding includes $499,952 for the University of Virginia to better understand America's agricultural commodity flows and their role in the spread of invasive species, which is important for food security and economic stability. This project will help provide policy makers with guidance to better address vulnerabilities in food systems.