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See What's New on the NISIC's Web site by using our RSS feed (learn about RSS). Contains items of interest that have been added to our site, in order of most recent post date.


USDA Announces 2020 Plans for Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Efforts in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio (Mar 19, 2020)
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.

Post Date: Mar 19, 2020
White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Bat in Texas (Mar 5, 2020)
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

For the first time, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists have confirmed the disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) in a Texas bat. Up until this point, while the fungus that causes the disease was previously detected in Texas in 2017, there were no signs of the disease it can cause. WNS has killed millions of hibernating bats in the eastern parts of the United States, raising national concern. WNS is a fungal disease only known to occur in bats and is not a risk to people. However, bats are wild animals and should not be handled by untrained individuals. The public is encouraged to report dead or sick bats to TPWD at nathan.fuller@tpwd.texas.gov for possible testing.

Post Date: Mar 12, 2020
New AIS Rules for Montana Nonresident Boaters and Anglers (Feb 28, 2020)
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

New this year, nonresidents launching watercraft in Montana must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass.  

  • The fee for motorboats is $30 and applies to all motorized watercraft that is registered in another state our country.
  • The fee for nonmotorized watercraft is $10 and applies to rafts, kayaks, drift boats, catamarans, and sailboats that nonresidents bring into Montana.
  • The Vessel AIS Prevention Pass expires Dec. 31 and is not transferrable between vessels.

Boaters are reminded that all watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching. Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter. To find a watercraft inspection station or to learn more, go to CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.

Post Date: Mar 10, 2020
USDA Begins Surveying and Trapping for Mexican Fruit Flies in Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas (Mar 5, 2020)
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.

Post Date: Mar 09, 2020
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Adds 12 Counties to Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine (Mar 3, 2020)
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that twelve counties have been added to Pennsylvania's Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2020 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine (PDF | 506 KB) for this invasive pest is now at 26 counties. The new dozen counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation (PDF | 803 KB) which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county out of an abundance of caution. Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, and York have been added to the quarantine for 2020. For more information on Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania, visit https://agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.

Post Date: Mar 05, 2020
APHIS Accepts Comments on an Environmental Assessment to Control Cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina (Mar 4, 2020)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental effects of establishing an integrated management strategy to control cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The draft environmental assessment is now available for comment. Cogongrass is an invasive exotic grass found on public and private property, along roadways, in forests, and on farmland. This federally regulated noxious weed grows rapidly, reducing forest productivity, harming wildlife habitat and ecosystems, and encroaching on pastures and hayfields. Because of cogongrass' impact on agriculture and forest industries, Congress has given APHIS funding to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina to control the spread of this weed. APHIS is proposing is an integrated management strategy that uses preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods to control cogongrass in key areas of its distribution. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on this environmental assessment by April 1, 2020.

Post Date: Mar 04, 2020
Rhode Island DEM Amends Freshwater Fishing Rules To Better Battle Invasive Plants That are Choking RI Waterways (Feb 26, 2020)
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Trying to reduce the spread of invasive species in Rhode Island waters, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has amended the state's Freshwater Fisheries Regulations to prohibit the transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on any type of boat, motor, trailer, fishing supplies, or gear. The new regulation carries a $100 fine for each violation. "Many of the aquatic invasive plants in Rhode Island can reproduce from just one small plant fragment and do not need entire root systems to successfully establish in a new spot," said Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst with DEM's Office of Water Resources. "Cleaning off every bit of plant from recreational gear used at one pond is essential before visiting another — this includes boats, kayaks, canoes, motors, trailers, paddles, jet skis, fishing gear, waders, water tubes, and anchors. These efforts help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island waterbodies."

Post Date: Mar 04, 2020
Saskatchewan Releases New Aquatic Invasive Species Strategy (Feb 20, 2020)
Government of Saskatchewan.

Today, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced the Government of Saskatchewan’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Strategy during an address to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s (SWF) annual convention in Weyburn. The new framework is designed to help the province prevent, address and manage aquatic invasive species (AIS) threats. The ministry and the SWF are partners on the province’s AIS Task Force – which focuses on additional education and monitoring activities – along with other government agencies, conservation groups, non-government organizations and universities. "This strategy emphasizes the need for collaboration and co-ordination with provincial and federal government agencies, non-government organizations and neighbouring jurisdictions to prevent the introduction and spread of high-risk aquatic invasive species," Duncan said. The province's new AIS Strategy, as well as further information about AIS and fishing, is available online.

Post Date: Feb 22, 2020
New Rapid Response Kit Designed to Help Prevent Spread of Invasive Species (Aug 12, 2019)
USDA. Forest Service.

In partnership with USDA Forest Service, Wildlife Forever recently unveiled a new Clean Drain Dry Rapid Response Communication Kit (PDF | 4.4 MB) to help communities with invasive species. Informing the public is critical in slowing the spread. The readymade communication tools are designed for immediate distribution or can be customized to local needs. Prevention is still the best way to slow the spread and this Rapid Response Kit is designed to do this in two ways:

  • Send out an urgent warning that a local lake has been infested with a specific Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Educate the affected public as to what they can – and should – do to help prevent further spread of the species
Post Date: Feb 14, 2020
Feral Swine Eradicated from Colorado Thanks to Work of State and Federal Partnership (Feb 12, 2020)
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The partnership formed in the early 2000s as a task force to manage invasive feral swine, which root up crops and pastures causing billions in damage nationwide each year. Feral swine also spread disease to livestock, wildlife and humans. Ground-nesting birds and other wildlife are easy prey for feral swine. And the swine put native wildlife at risk by competing for resources and destroying habitats and ecosystems. 

You can help keep Colorado free of feral swine:

  • Spread the word that in Colorado it’s illegal to possess, transport or release feral swine, wild swine species or hybrids.
  • Report sightings of feral swine or transportation activities to USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
  • Get more information at the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program.
Post Date: Feb 13, 2020