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Keeping Airline Passengers and Wildlife Safe: APHIS and its Partners Work to Identify Best Management Practices for Wildlife Repellents at Airports

A variety of wildlife species—from birds to rodents and rabbits—often visit airport environments leading to safety concerns for both wildlife and airline passengers. Collisions between wildlife and aircraft have increased in the past 30 years because of an increase in both hazardous wildlife species populations and aircraft movements. To help reduce the risk of these potentially dangerous interactions, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) biologists provide airport operators across the Nation with advice and recommendations on how to keep runways and flight paths clear of wildlife.

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Gift Highlights Relationship Between Ireland and the United States and the Importance of Plant Health

The spirit of The International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) was in full force this St. Patrick’s Day when President Joe Biden was presented with a shamrock bowl by the Irish Taoiseach (Irish for “chief or leader” – pronounced “tee-shuhk”), Micheál Martin, on March 17, 2021 at the White House. The shamrock bowl was delivered to the White House earlier in the week and presented to President Biden virtually. The tradition of this annual gift from the people of Ireland started in the early 1950s when Ireland’s first Ambassador, John J. Hearne, sent a small box of shamrocks to President Harry Truman.

Two Sisters Ensure Family Farming Legacy Thrives

I am Brielle Wright, a facilities service technician with APHIS’ Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both sides of my families were heavily involved in agriculture. As children we loved being in the garden planting cucumber and cantaloupe. Our great-grandmother, now 103, had persimmon trees, pear trees, pomegranate bushes, and grape vines. We raised pigs, cows, and chickens.

Black History Month 2021: Agriculture, Family and the Land

Every February, the APHIS community celebrates Black History Month and honors the many and varied contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. This year’s Black History Month theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” This feature, a personal narrative by APHIS employee Langston Hull, is the first in a two-part series recognizing Black employees at APHIS and their connection to agriculture, family, and the land.

Montana Range Riding Aids Ranchers, Mitigates Conflicts

As silvery moonlight washed across the Montana meadow, it sent long shadows over the grass. Tonight, I didn’t need the gentle clang of the grazing bell to tell me where the horses were feeding. My leggy quarter horse was as brightly silver-white as the full moon. The distant lowing of cows across the meadow confirmed that all was well. Somewhere in the distance, a wolf pack was probably making evening rounds, but tonight they likely wouldn’t visit this meadow. I swung up into my horse trailer’s tack room and wriggled into my sleeping bag as my dogs made way for my arrival. The next morning I’d rise at daybreak and head toward the sound of the cattle.

USDA’s Cutting-Edge Methods Help Deliver a Victory Against Asian Giant Hornet

After weeks of searching, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists–—using a radio tag provided by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and a trap developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service–— have located and eradicated the first Asian giant hornet (AGH) nest ever found in the United States. For months, WSDA had been trying to find the nest they knew must exist near Blaine, WA, because of AGH detections in the area. But finding the nest proved extremely challenging since the hornets build nests in forested areas, typically in an underground cavity.

APHIS Wildlife Biologists Aid Squirrel Recovery on the Delmarva

Many claim that 2020 has been a year of chaos and calamity, but for one rare squirrel, it might be a year of hope and new beginnings. The Delmarva Fox Squirrel (DFS) is a subspecies of fox squirrel found on the eastern shore of Maryland, Southern Delaware and Virginia. This pudgy, slow squirrel with its signature size and silvery-white coat has become a conservation success story in Maryland. Habitat loss along with other additive factors landed them on the Federal endangered species list in 1967. Protection and management efforts benefited DFS and in 2015, populations reached stable limits and they were officially delisted in Maryland. In parts of Delaware, DFS populations were not as prolific and numbers began to dwindle over time leaving only a few small populations.

World Rabies Day

Did you first learn about rabies through the children’s book or movie “Old Yeller”? Rabies has changed drastically over the last century in the United States, moving from a majority of cases occurring in domestic animals like the literary canine hero, to a disease occurring predominantly in wildlife. That makes rabies a significant wildlife management challenge in the U.S. today, and a reason the United States Department of Agriculture and our partners in rabies prevention and elimination recognize World Rabies Day on September 28, 2020. This is a day of global action that started in 2007 to raise awareness for rabies prevention and to enhance control efforts worldwide.

An Important Action to Take: Check Your Trees!

Did you know that USDA has declared August as Tree Check Month? That’s because August is the peak time of year to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)—an invasive wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwood trees in North America, such as maples, elms, horse chestnuts, birches and willows. Checking trees for the beetle and the damage it causes is one way residents can protect their own trees and help USDA’s efforts to eliminate this pest from the United States.