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Animals

Protecting Pollinators from A New Threat – First-Ever U.S. Sightings of Asian Giant Hornet

It’s not the first time that European honey bees and other pollinators in the United States have encountered invasive pests, with the parasitic Varroa mite being the most noteworthy. For years, researchers and beekeepers have wondered what the next invasive pest of concern would be. Perhaps Tropilaelaps mites, a parasitic mite that feeds on bee brood? Or an Asian honey bee, which is known to outcompete our European honey bees? Ultimately, it was the Asian giant hornet, making a confirmed appearance in Washington state during winter of 2019.

The Search for Genetic Clues to Determine Chronic Wasting Disease Susceptibility

As cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) continue to rise, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is looking to genetics for new and innovative ways to reduce the prevalence of this brain-wasting disease in farmed and wild deer and elk populations. Working in collaboration with Texas A&M University and Texas Parks and Wildlife, APHIS has identified a handful of promising regions in the white-tailed deer genome allowing the researchers to distinguish animals highly susceptible to CWD with greater than 80 percent accuracy.

Stop Invasive Pests in Their Tracks with Tips from APHIS and PlayCleanGo this Summer

Summer is here, and it’s time to head outdoors! June is National Camping Month, and it also features National Trails Day, National Recreational Vehicle Day, World Ocean Day, and National Get Outdoors Day. But before you hit the trails or the waterways this summer, take a few precautions to avoid giving invasive pests a free ride to new territories. We have some ideas on how you can help!

Celebrating Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month with Your Children: Activities, Curriculums and Video Links

Looking for nature- or science-based activities or projects for your kids to do at home? You and your school-aged children can join in the important worldwide effort to protect plants from invasive species. Invasive pests can destroy up to 40 percent of crops annually, having a direct impact on the cost and availability of the food you eat every day.

Protecting U.S. Swine Health Using A “One Health” Approach

This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week and USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) remains committed to using a “One Health” approach in conducting research that will identify solutions to help prolong the usefulness of a very precious resource—antibiotics. For example, ARS research includes understanding how common production practices might impact antimicrobial resistance and understanding whether certain animal pathogens may be a public health concern.

Calling All Outdoor Enthusiasts! Help Protect Your Favorite Forests and Parks from Invasive Species

Summer is nature’s way of telling us to get outside and have some fun! With warmer temperatures and sweet breezes sweeping across the nation, many of us will try to spend more time outside than inside during the coming weeks and months. Since I started working at USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, I’ve learned that some of my favorite recreation sites are threatened by invasive species. I’ve learned how to leave Hungry Pests behind while hitting the trails.

State-of-the-Art USDA Facilities Keep Invasive Pests Out of the Country

Safeguarding our Nation’s agriculture and natural resources against harmful plant pests is an awesome responsibility, one my agency—USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—takes very seriously. Thanks to our employees, cooperators, and partners, the United States has one of the most robust plant health safeguarding systems in the world. That is because we continuously take steps to enhance our ability to exclude, control, and eradicate pests and increase the safety of agricultural trade.