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Gail Keirn             (970) 266-6007
Carol Bannerman  (301) 734-6464

USDA HOSTS INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MANAGING INVASIVE BIRDS, MAMMALS, REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
                                       
FORT COLLINS, Colo., July 30, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will host a three-day international symposium August 7 through August 9 on managing invasive (or nonnative) wildlife species.   It will be conducted by the APHIS Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) at the Hilton Fort Collins in Fort Collins, Colo.

The symposium will highlight research, management and public education associated with invasive birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
 
More than 50 speakers from eight countries are scheduled to present on the following invasive species topics: 

In addition to a technical poster session, with more than 30 posters, the symposium is also sponsoring an art competition for students at Colorado State University.  Students will design posters highlighting invasive species.
 
An invasive species is defined as a species that is nonnative (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to plant, animal or human health.  Invasive species can be plants, animals and other organisms (e.g., microbes).  They can reduce biodiversity; degrade habitats; damage agricultural crops; alter native genetic diversity; transmit exotic diseases to people, livestock and native wildlife; threaten human health and safety and further jeopardize threatened and endangered plants and animals.

The NWRC is the research arm of USDA’s wildlife services program, a nonregulatory program that provides federal leadership in managing conflicts between people and wildlife.

NWRC applies scientific expertise to the development of scientific information and practical methods to resolve human-wildlife conflicts and maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife.

For more information on the symposium, its agenda and registration, please visit the NWRC Web site at http:www.aphis.usda.gov/ws/nwrc.

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