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Biological Threats and Invasive Species Research Program

The Biological Threats Research Program delivers science to protect public safety, property, and ecosystems from invasive plants and animals and infectious fish and wildlife diseases that pose significant ecologic and economic threats to the resources of the United States.

News

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Friday's Findings - February 23, 2024

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Charismatic Wildlife and the Charismatic Women who Study Them

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Federal agencies commit to continue a crucial collaborative bat monitoring program

Publications

Evaluating management alternatives for Wyoming elk feedgrounds in consideration of chronic wasting disease

Executive SummaryThe authors used decision and modeling analyses to evaluate management alternatives for a decision on whether to permit Cervus canadensis (elk) feeding on two sites on Bridger-Teton National Forest, Dell Creek and Forest Park. Supplemental feeding of elk could increase the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) locally and disease spread regionally, potentially impacting el

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Jonathan D. Cook, Paul C. Cross, Emily M. Tomaszewski, Eric K. Cole, Evan H. Campbell Grant, James M. Wilder, Michael C. Runge

An assessment of fish herding techniques: Management implications for mass removal and control of silver carp

We assessed the effectiveness of herding techniques on adult Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix in a tributary to the Missouri River. Sites (600 m) were contained using block nets and treated with one of five herding techniques: (1) a method commonly used by commercial fishers in the United States (commercial technique), (2) pulsed-DC electrofishing (electric technique), (3) broadband sound a
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Josey Lee Ridgway, Katelyn M. Lawson, Stephen August Shier, Robin Calfee, Duane Chapman

The effects of cheatgrass invasion on US Great Basin carbon storage depend on interactions between plant community composition, precipitation seasonality, and soil climate regime

Annual-grass invasions are transforming desert ecosystems in ways that affect ecosystem carbon (C) balance, but previous studies do not agree on the pattern, magnitude and direction of changes. A recent meta-analysis of 41 articles and 386 sites concludes that invasion by annual grasses such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L) reduces C in biomass across the Great Basin (Nagy et al., 2021). Reanalys
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Toby M Maxwell, Matthew J. Germino

Science

Expanding Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 32 US states and five Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids and/or commercial captive cervid facilities. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 32 states and four provinces and in captive cervid facilities in 18 states and three provinces.
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Expanding Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 32 US states and five Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids and/or commercial captive cervid facilities. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 32 states and four provinces and in captive cervid facilities in 18 states and three provinces.
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Fish & Wildlife Disease: Coral Diseases

Corals reefs support marine biodiversity, protect coastlines from storm surges and strong waves, and provide income from tourism to coastal communities. Coral diseases were first recognized in the 1970s and are now considered a major threat to coral reef survival worldwide. Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) emerged in Florida in 2014, impacting coral reefs in Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin...
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Fish & Wildlife Disease: Coral Diseases

Corals reefs support marine biodiversity, protect coastlines from storm surges and strong waves, and provide income from tourism to coastal communities. Coral diseases were first recognized in the 1970s and are now considered a major threat to coral reef survival worldwide. Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) emerged in Florida in 2014, impacting coral reefs in Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin...
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Diadema antillarum Mass Mortality

Diadema antillarum scuticociliatosis (DaSc) is an emerging infectious disease affecting sea urchins of the genus Diadema . Caused by a ciliate most closely related to Philaster apodigitiformis , the infection caused mass mortalities of urchins in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas in 2022-2023.
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Diadema antillarum Mass Mortality

Diadema antillarum scuticociliatosis (DaSc) is an emerging infectious disease affecting sea urchins of the genus Diadema . Caused by a ciliate most closely related to Philaster apodigitiformis , the infection caused mass mortalities of urchins in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas in 2022-2023.
Learn More