An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted  — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

You are here

What's New

Back to top

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.


Pest Alert: Asian Giant Hornet (Dec 19, 2019)
Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Asian giant hornet is the world's largest species of hornet. In December 2019, WSDA received and verified four reports of Asian giant hornet near Blaine and Bellingham. These are the first-ever sighting in the U.S. Canada had also discovered Asian giant hornet in two locations in British Columbia in the fall of 2019. If it becomes established, this hornet will have serious negative impacts on the environment, economy, and public health of Washington State. If you think you may have spotted an Asian giant hornet, report it using the Hornet Watch Report Form.
See also: Learn more about Asian giant hornets and WSDA’s program to eradicate them.

Post Date: Feb 12, 2020
ARS Research News - Trained Dogs Are the Most Efficient Way to Hunt Citrus Industry's Biggest Threat (Feb 3, 2020)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Dogs specially trained by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing—also known as citrus greening—according to a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, the only solid hope of curtailing the spread of citrus greening is to eliminate trees with the disease as quickly as possible to prevent further spread. Early detection of the citrus greening pathogen is crucial because trees can be infected and act as a source to spread the disease months or years before showing symptoms that are detectable by the naked eye. ARS plant epidemiologist Timothy R. Gottwald with the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, discovered that dogs can be trained to sniff out the presence of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacteria that causes citrus greening, with greater than 99 percent accuracy.

Post Date: Feb 04, 2020
Citrus Federal Quarantines
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Contains the legal description of current federal quarantine areas for several citrus pests and diseases. Users can search by state and pest to determine the quarantine area(s) by state. An interactive map of quarantine areas is also available.

Post Date: Jan 25, 2020
Warner & Kaine Announce more than $1.5 Million in Funding for UVA & VT to Support Agricultural Industry (Jan 16, 2020)
United States Senate. Mark R. Warner.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,549,891 in federal funding for the University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Tech to improve resources for the U.S. agricultural industry and rural communities. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) Initiative, which focuses on data-driven solutions to address problems facing the agricultural industry. Funding includes $499,952 for the University of Virginia to better understand America's agricultural commodity flows and their role in the spread of invasive species, which is important for food security and economic stability. This project will help provide policy makers with guidance to better address vulnerabilities in food systems.

Post Date: Jan 17, 2020
New EU Plant Health Rules
European Commission.

In October 2016, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on protective measures against plant pests (“Plant Health Law”). On 13 December 2016, the Regulation entered into force and will be applicable from 14 December 2019. The new rules aim to modernise the plant health regime, enhancing more effective measures for the protection of the Union's territory and its plants. The Plant Health Law increases the prevention against the introduction of new pests via imports from third countries. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 establishes the list of high risk plants the introduction of which into the EU territory will be provisionally prohibited from 14 December 2019 until a full risk assessment has been carried out. Published in the Official Journal on 11 October 2019, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1702 lists 20 quarantine pests as priority pests, including Xylella fastidiosa, the Japanese beetle, the Asian long-horned beetle, Citrus greening and Citrus Black Spot, whose economic, environmental and social impact on EU territory is the most severe.

Post Date: Jan 10, 2020
Stop Aquatic Invaders With Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s New App – Download It Today! (Dec 13, 2019)
Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program.

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s economy, freshwater resources, and native aquatic species. Pennsylvania Sea Grant announces 'there’s an app for that' with the launch of "PA AIS," a new, easy-to-use smart phone application. The "PA AIS" app is now available in the Apple App Store, with an Android version anticipated. The "PA AIS" app can be used in airplane mode or in areas outside of coverage, making it ideal for use in the field. Users can identify AIS and submit a report to the state AIS coordinator, including the location, severity, and photos of the suspected infestation. Illustrations help users learn more about each species to ensure accurate identification in the field. Prevention tips help educate freshwater enthusiasts such as anglers and boaters about the steps they can take to properly clean gear and ensure that AIS are not transported from one water body to another.

Post Date: Dec 27, 2019
Announcing IDphy: A Tool for Phytophthora Identification (Sep 30, 2019)
USDAAPHISPPQCPHST. Identification Technology Program.

ITP and the APHIS PPQ S&T Beltsville Lab are pleased to announce the release of IDphy: Molecular and Morphological Identification of Phytopthora Based on the Types, ITP’s first pathogen tool. This website offers PPQ and its partners the most complete, valid, and up-to-date resource for identifying the culturable species of Phytophthora. IDphy includes detailed standard operating procedures for all steps involved in culturing, sequencing, and identifying suspect samples, covering both molecular and morphological methods. Some species of Phytophthora are devastating plant pathogens that have a significant impact on agriculture and natural ecosystems.

Post Date: Dec 14, 2019
Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl Kicks Off in South Florida
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

On Jan 10, 2020, the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl officially kicked off in South Florida with more than 550 people registered for the competition to remove as many pythons from the wild as possible. Native to Southeast Asia, pythons pose a significant threat to Florida’s native wildlife. Under the direction of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) have teamed up with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and other partners to support the Committee’s Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, which features the Python Bowl. It’s not too late! People interested in taking part in the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl can still register at FLPythonChallenge.org

Post Date: Dec 07, 2019
Assessing the Health of U.S. Forests: Annual Report Details Conditions Across All 50 States (Dec 5, 2019)
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

Forests are complex ecosystems. They are constantly changing as a result of tree growth, variations in weather and climate, and disturbances from fire, pathogens, and other stressors. The USDA Forest Service Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) program tracks these ongoing changes — every year, across the nation — as a forest health check up. The 2018 FHM report is the only national summary of forest health undertaken on an annual basis. It contains short- and long-term forest health assessments for the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The report is available as a General Technical Report. Individual chapters can be downloaded, and the full series of FHM annual reports is also available. Users can search reports and chapters by year or topic. Highlights and additional resources are also included.

Post Date: Dec 05, 2019
Wild Spotter - Mapping Invasives in America's Wild Places
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; Wildlife Forever; USDA. Forest Service.

You can help fight back against invasive species in America's wild places by downloading the free Wild Spotter Mobile App on your smartphone or other mobile device. You'll learn how to identify, map, and prevent the spread of these invaders in order to protect our rivers, mountains, forests, and all wild places for future generations. Learn more by watching the Wild Spotter Introduction Video. To become a volunteer, register either online or download the Wild Spotter Mobile App. Once registered, reach out to your nearest National Forest or Grassland to discover how you can volunteer to help support and protect these beautiful places from invasive species. Then, just get outside and enjoy America's wild places while keeping an eye out for those harmful invaders!

Post Date: Nov 23, 2019