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Invasive frogs give invasive birds a boost in Hawaii

USDA Invasive Species News -

Puerto Rican coqui frogs were accidentally introduced to Hawaii in the 1980s, and today there are as many as 91,000 frogs per hectare in some locations. What does that mean for native wildlife? Concerns that ravenous coquis could reduce the food available for the islands' native insect-eating birds, many of which are already declining, spurred researchers to examine the relationship between frog and bird populations -- but their results weren't what they expected.

Ocean acidification affects mussels at early life stages

USDA Invasive Species News -

Mussels protect themselves against environmental disturbances and enemies through a hard, calcareous shell. Increased ocean acidification makes it difficult for organisms to form their shells. Scientists now show that mussel larvae react sensitively to ocean acidification, which leads to reduced calcification rates and shell dissolution.

Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry

USDA Invasive Species News -

Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal.

eDNA tool detects invasive clams before they become a nuisance

USDA Invasive Species News -

When seeking a cure for a disease, early detection is often the key. The same is true for eliminating invasive species. Identifying their presence in a lake before they are abundant is vital. A recent study successfully used environmental DNA to detect invasive clams in California and Nevada lakes. Researchers believe this tool can help identify pests before they become a problem.

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