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Invasive Species Resources

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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. 
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Traveling for holidays? Then this new site can help you determine what items can be brought into the U.S. Bringing food and other items back from your travels (anytime of the year) could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. For example, travelers cannot bring in most fresh fruits and vegetables because they can carry plant pests or diseases.  Just one pest could devastate multiple agricultural industries.

The new site, Traveler Information, provides everyone with important information about which agricultural items are safe to enter the United States – and which ones are best left behind. This helps protect the health of our country’s plants, animals and natural resources, ensuring many happy holidays to come.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating domestic regulations for Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum), the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death. From 2004 to 2013, APHIS issued a series of Federal Orders to deregulate nurseries where the pathogen has never been found or had not been found recently. Now, APHIS is codifying these Federal Orders with a final rule. APHIS collected and responded to public comments on this rule in 2018. APHIS has determined that updating the domestic regulations to include all Federal Orders issued in recent years will make it easier to find and comply with current restrictions which are necessary to protect the United States from the artificial spread of P. ramorum. This action will go into effect May 20, 2019.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Hungry Pests are invasive species that disrupt ecosystems, threatening to push out and eliminate native species. The European cherry fruit fly, the newest pest added to the group, attacks cherries. This pest was detected in the United States for the first time when fruit flies were caught in traps along the Niagara River in New York last year. If left unchecked, this pest could threaten cherry production in the United States. It can be introduced to new places through the movement of soil or infested fruit from areas where the pest occurs.

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species.

Recent hurricanes may have spread non-native freshwater plants and animals into new water bodies, where some of them can disrupt living communities or change the landscape. To help land managers find and manage these flood-borne newcomers, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have created four online maps, one for each hurricane. These “storm tracker” map sets, on which users can see the potential spread of any of 226 non-native aquatic plant and animal species during the 2017 hurricane season. For more information, see Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST) Maps.

DOI. United States Geological Survey.
A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times. "This is a significant step forward in developing control mechanisms to combat the devastating spread of white-nose syndrome in our important bat populations," said USGS Director Jim Reilly. "Being able to deliver an oral vaccine during hibernation could be a game changer in our ability to combat one of the deadliest wildlife diseases in modern times." White-nose syndrome is caused by a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd, and has killed millions of North American bats since 2006. The disease is spreading rapidly and there is no cure.
USDAARS. Bee Research Laboratory.
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
USDAARS. Agricultural Research Magazine.
A novel control strategy could be in store for spotted wing drosophila, an invasive vinegar fly species from Asia that attacks more than 100 fruit crops, including blueberry, cherry, blackberry, and grape. Two- to three-millimeters long, the spotted wing drosophila fly first drew attention in 2008 in California. Before long, it had spread to other western states, inflicting losses of 50 to 100 percent in berry crops there. Two years later, it had spread to the eastern United States, wreaking similar havoc and forcing growers to retaliate with intensive insecticide spraying. Researchers, meanwhile, began learning all they could about the invader. One such scientist is Blair Sampson, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist who specializes in integrated pest management approaches for small-fruit crops. Sampson is with the ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, Mississippi.
USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
An invasive species is on the move and may be headed for Montana. Palmer amaranth, a giant pigweed, is known to have spread to at least 28 states, including Minnesota and South Dakota, but has not yet been reported in Montana. To prevent its spread into Montana, landowners are encouraged to check their fields to ensure the invasive weed is not present. It was a known contaminant in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) seed mixes but pollinator, wildlife habitat and cover crop plantings may also been contaminated. Producers with recent conservation plantings should check their fields to ensure this invasive weed is not present.
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
DOI. NPS. Mammoth Cave National Park.
Bats are dying. Please help us protect them. A disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS) is spreading through the eastern United States, killing bat populations. White-nose syndrome is considered to be present in the Mammoth Cave System. It is believed that humans may contribute to the spread of white-nose syndrome by visiting contaminated caves or mines and then wearing the same clothing or carrying the same objects to unaffected caves or mines, transporting spores from one place to the other. You can help us save bats by following a few simple guidelines.
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
See also: USDA-APHIS Publications for more resources