Senate hearing focuses on threats to wildlife

July 8, 2009 8:01:32 AM PDT
From a mysterious fungus attacking bats in the Northeast to the emergence of Burmese pythons in Florida, native wildlife is facing new threats throughout the country.

Protecting wildlife from new diseases and invasive species is a top challenge facing state and federal officials. Experts and public officials will talk about the threats - and ways to combat them - at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Two Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittees are conducting the hearing, which will feature testimony by experts from Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island and Florida.

At least 185 aquatic invasive species have been detected in the Great Lakes, including the zebra mussel and Asian carp, and snakehead fish have been found in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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