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Home / Invasive Species - What's New on NISIC's Site

Invasive Species - What's New on NISIC's Site

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.

See related information: Invasive Species Resources - What's New
Resources can be filtered by Subject, Resource Type, Location, or Source. If you wish to search for species-related resources and use refinements, enter the species name first before selecting the terms.


SCIENCEx Climate Change Webinars
USDA. FS. Research and Development.

The SCIENCEx webinar series brings together scientists and land management experts from across U.S. Forest Service research stations and beyond to explore the latest science and best practices for addressing large natural resource challenges across the country. These webinars are primarily management-focused, but with applicability for participants from across sectors.

SCIENCEx Climate Change -- October 25-29, 2021 (archived)

Post Date: Oct 18, 2021
MDARD Proposes Exterior Firewood Quarantine to Protect Michigan Trees and Forests from Invasive Species (Oct 14, 2021)
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is proposing an Exterior Firewood Quarantine (PDF | 192 KB) to prevent the introduction of unwanted plant pests and diseases into Michigan. Public comments on the proposal are due by Friday, November 19, 2021. Over 140 pests and diseases can be moved by firewood, including Asian long-horned beetle, mountain pine beetle and spotted lanternfly. These pests are not known to exist in Michigan but could be accidentally brought into the state by travelers transporting firewood.

Members of the public interested in providing feedback on this proposed quarantine can submit their comments to Mike Bryan, MDARD Export and Compliance Specialist by emailing BryanM@Michigan.gov. The deadline for comments is Friday, November 19, 2021. Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Invasives and on MDARD's plant pest quarantine webpage.

Post Date: Oct 16, 2021
Expansion of Quarantine Areas for the Imported Fire Ant (Solenopis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel, and hybrids of these species) in North Carolina and Tennessee (Oct 14, 2021)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a Federal Order (Oct 14, 2021; PDF | 171 KB) that expands the existing imported fire ant (IFA) quarantine areas in North Carolina and Tennessee. APHIS is taking this action to prevent the interstate spread of IFA. APHIS is taking these actions based upon verification from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Consumer and Industry Services that IFA is present and established in the areas listed. For additional information on the Federal IFA regulatory program, please contact the IFA National Policy Manager, Herbert Bolton, at (301) 851-3594 or herbert.bolton@usda.gov.

Post Date: Oct 16, 2021
Farm Animals Tested for COVID Suseptibility (Oct 11, 2021)
USDA. ARS. Tellus.

Scientists and staff at the Agricultural Research Service have been studying Covid-19 for over a year-and-a-half to ensure that America’s agricultural system is safe. The aim of the research was to confirm that farm animals were not susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and remove potential concerns of farm animals becoming infected and transmitting the virus to people through direct contact or through agricultural products.

Post Date: Oct 12, 2021
Florida Eradicates Giant African Land Snail (Oct 8, 2021)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.

The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.

Post Date: Oct 09, 2021
Invasive Green Crabs Spreading on US West Coast Despite Lack of Genetic Diversity (Oct 6, 2021)
National Science Foundation.

The green crab, Carcinus maenas, is a widely distributed invasive species that eventually alters its new environment. It's assumed that such species have high genetic diversity, or a variety of characteristics allowing them to adapt and thrive. But the green crab has low genetic diversity, while still spreading rapidly in a new part of the world. A U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study led by Carolyn Tepolot of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is investigating the adaptive mechanisms of the green crab along the west coast of North America, where it has shown extensive dispersal in the last decade despite minimal genetic diversity. The results are published in Molecular Ecology. The project is a collaboration among scientists at WHOI, Portland State University, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the University of California, Davis.

Post Date: Oct 07, 2021
Interior Office of Insular Affairs Announces Nearly $3 Million to Protect Coral Reefs and Combat Invasive Species in the Insular Areas (Sep 29, 2021)
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has announced $2,772,443 in Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative (CRNR) grant funds to protect coral reef resources in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states. The funding includes $1,541,421 that will support efforts to control and eradicate invasive species in the insular areas. Grants for fiscal year 2021 to combat invasive species have been awarded as follows:

  • University of Guam for research and related efforts to counter the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle - $866,423
  • Micronesia Conservation Trust, a regional non-governmental organization, for the eradication, control, and management of invasive species in Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap - $300,000
  • Island Conservation, a non-profit organization, for the removal of invasive rats in Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands - $299,838
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Government for Sabana Pandanus Forest control and native trees restoration project - $75,160
Post Date: Oct 07, 2021
October is "Stop the Ant Month" in Hawai'i (Sep 30, 2021)
Governor of the State of Hawai'i.

October is "Stop the Ant Month" in Hawai'i and a multi-agency effort will be ongoing throughout the month to increase awareness of the importance of early detection to prevent and control the spread of the invasive little fire ant (LFA). The Hawai'i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Hawai'i Ant Lab (HAL) and partner agencies, including the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Committees and the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species will be asking residents on O'ahu, Kaua'i and Maui County to survey their properties for LFA by using a little peanut butter on a chopstick and leaving them in several areas for about one hour. Residents may request a free ant-collection kit through the website: https://stoptheant.org/. The website also has maps of areas where LFA have been detected in Hawai'i.

Post Date: Oct 03, 2021
The State of Integrated Pest Management for Spotted-Wing Drosophila (Sep 23, 2021)
Entomological Society of America. Entomology Today.

Spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), is an invasive fruit fly species that causes about $500 million in economic damage to fruit crops in the U.S. each year. A native to southeast Asia, it arrived in the U.S. in Hawaii in the 1980s and in the continental U.S. in California in 2008. It is now widespread through many parts of the U.S. and the world. In a new review article published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Vaughn Walton, Ph.D., of Oregon State University and a multi-university team of experts have created a comprehensive look at how SWD management strategies are evolving to address these challenges.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that funds part of Walton and colleagues SWD research stipulates that they work with industry influencers, and they have been doing this from the beginning. They bring technologies to industry and seek feedback on how well the technologies work in actual practice. "Federal funding is allowing us to listen to and serve our clients—the growers," Walton says. As the Journal of Economic Entomology paper details, many promising control strategies are being developed for this challenging and uniquely adaptable invasive species. With continued advances, researchers can hope that populations of SWD can be controlled and the damage they cause reduced.

Post Date: Oct 02, 2021
Agriculture Secretary Applauds Research Efforts in Blocking Spread of African Swine Fever Virus (Sep 30, 2021)
United States Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today applauded research and protection efforts underway at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever virus, which has been causing devastating losses to the swine industry across the globe. "USDA agencies are working together to protect U.S. livestock from foreign and emerging animal diseases that could harm our economy and public health," said Secretary Vilsack. "I am proud of the extraordinary research underway at the Agricultural Research Service to develop vaccine candidates to prevent African Swine Fever virus. In addition, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has done tremendous work to establish protection zones to safeguard the entire U.S. swine industry."

African Swine Fever (ASF) was originally detected in 2007 in the Republic of Georgia and is known to cause virulent, deadly disease outbreaks in wild and domesticated swine. Since the original outbreak, ASF has had a widespread and lethal impact on swine herds in various countries in Eastern and Central Europe and throughout Asia. Although the virus is causing profound economic losses to the swine industry, there have not been any U.S. outbreaks.

Post Date: Oct 01, 2021