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.
Invasive Species Resources
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USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Urban legends about the origins of canal grass in Panama abound, but the Smithsonian has new evidence that puts the question to rest. Canal grass is an invasive weed, native to Asia. Because its tiny seeds blow in the wind, it readily invades clearings and spreads to form impenetrable stands by budding from tillers and rhizomes. Once established, canal grass is challenging to eliminate.
DOI. NPS. Buffalo National River.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed the presence of the Longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in Arkansas. The Longhorned tick is an exotic East Asian tick associated with bacterial and viral tickborne diseases of animals and humans in other parts of the world. This tick is considered by USDA to be a serious threat to livestock because heavy tick infestations may cause stunted growth, decreased production and animal deaths. Like deer-ticks, the nymphs of the Longhorned tick are very small (resembling tiny spiders) and can easily go unnoticed on animals and people. This tick is known to infest a wide range of species and has the potential to infect multiple North American wildlife species, humans, dogs, cats, and livestock.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs this week announced $1,488,890 in fiscal year 2018 grants to combat invasive species and protect natural resources in the U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. "Invasive species in the islands are disruptive for both marine and terrestrial resources in the islands, which already face a delicate balance," said Assistant Secretary Domenech. "Secretary Zinke and I are pleased to help control and eradicate invasive species in the islands in order to protect public health, livelihoods, and fragile environments and economies."
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
United States Department of Agriculture.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue joined Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon in a virtual ceremony to sign a Shared Stewardship Agreement between USDA’s Forest Service and the State of Wyoming (PDF | 2.06 MB). The Shared Stewardship Agreement establishes a framework for federal and state agencies to promote active forest management, improve collaboration, and respond to ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in Wyoming. Under the agreement, the State of Wyoming and USDA will work together on forest and grassland restoration across all land ownerships, with a focus on protecting at-risk communities and watersheds from wildfire. The USDA Forest Service initiative for cross-boundary land management is described in the 2018 document Toward Shared Stewardship Across Landscapes: An Outcome-Based Investment Strategy (PDF | 14 MB). This strategy addresses the increasing challenges faced by federal, state, and private managers of forests and rangeland, including catastrophic wildfires, invasive species, degraded watersheds, and insects and disease.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio in 2020. "Just last year we declared eradication of ALB from Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, ending the city's 23-year-long battle with the beetle," said Osama El-Lissy, APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine Deputy Administrator. "This year, we've mapped out a sound strategy that will further our efforts to eliminate this pest from the remaining areas of this country where it still has a foothold."
Every year, APHIS evaluates and determines the most effective options to achieve ALB eradication. In 2020, the ALB program will focus on inspecting trees in quarantined areas in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio, and removing infested trees at no cost to property owners. The program will not apply insecticide treatments this year. In addition, program officials will monitor for the beetle’s presence inside and around each area, respond to service calls, conduct training sessions for compliance agreement holders, and perform outreach.