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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.
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."
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.