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Invasive Species Resources

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USDA. FS. Northeastern Forest Experiment Station.
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats over the past decade. WNS is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Studies show that bats eat enough insect pests to save the U.S. corn industry more than $1 billion a year in crop damage and pesticide costs, and more than $3 billion per year to all agricultural production including forests.
 

To help fund the research needed to combat this deadly disease, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced $2.5 million in grants for research of high priority questions about WNS that will improve our ability to manage the disease and conserve affected bats.

USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

Laurel wilt has devastated plants in the Lauraceae family – redbay, sassafras, pondberry, avocado, and others – since it was first detected in the southeastern U.S. around 2002. There is no widespread, effective treatment for laurel wilt. Genetics research is focused on learning more about the pathogen's genetic structure in order to improve detection methods and screening for possible resistance in Lauraceae host species. "We have developed genetic markers to describe the population of the pathogen in the U.S.," says USDA Forest Service plant pathologist Tyler Dreaden. "Knowing which genotypes to use contributes to a quicker, more cost-effective resistance screening process." Dreaden led a new study to shed light on the genetic structure of the pathogen and its reproductive strategy. The research team included Marc Hughes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Randy Ploetz and Jason Smith at the University of Florida, and Adam Black, horticulture director of the Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation in Texas. Their findings were published in Forests.

DOI. United States Geological Survey.

See also: Science Topics for related invasive species issues.

DOD. USACE. Buffalo District.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District is on a mission to fight hydrilla, an aggressive plant species that has wreaked havoc from Asia to every continent except Antarctica. "Hydrilla completely chokes out our waterways and impacts all the things we enjoy,” said Michael Greer, USACE Buffalo District project manager." It affects water quality, the economy, businesses, hydropower and flood reduction - ultimately our health and our wallets." Buffalo District’s main projects to eradicate hydrilla are at the Erie Canal and Tonawanda Creek, Tonawanda, NY, as well as on Cayuga Lake near Aurora, NY and Ithaca, NY. The District provides assistance on Pymatuning Lake which borders Pennsylvania and Ohio, and at Raystown Lake in south central Pennsylvania. Buffalo District is also lending expertise to a project on the Connecticut River. Funding for the project is available through the Corps of Engineers Aquatic Plant Control Research Program and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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.

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.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County, California. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds. This is the first case in commercial poultry since 2003.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern.  No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County, California. It is important to note that the presence of the disease is not a food safety concern. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease, previously referred to as exotic Newcastle disease, in the U.S. since 2003.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

On October 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in coordination with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation announced that they have eliminated the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. "I am proud to say that we have eradicated Asian longhorned beetle from Brooklyn and Queens," said Greg Ibach, USDA's Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. "This officially marks the end of our 23-year long battle with this pest in New York City."

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has established a quarantine for European cherry fruit fly (ECFF) in New York. A portion of Niagara County is quarantined for the invasive fruit fly following the detection of 51 flies in 2017. APHIS and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) are working collaboratively on this detection. The ECFF quarantine area encompasses approximately 92 square miles of Niagara County.
See also: Fruit Flies for additional information.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Secretary Perdue is making available an additional $45 million to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its partners to address the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease (vND) outbreak in southern California.  This funding will allow APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to strengthen their joint efforts to stop the spread of this disease and prevent it from affecting additional commercial flocks.  vND has been confirmed in more than 435 backyard flocks since May 2018.  It was also confirmed in four commercial flocks in December 2018 and January 2019. 
Google. YouTube; USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
Scientists with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in central California are using sound to control insects that spread disease in grape vineyards.
DOI. National Park Service.
Google. YouTube; DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Google. YouTube; United States Department of Agriculture.

Google. YouTube; DOI. National Park Service.

Google. YouTube; DOI. National Park Service. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.