Hello Invasive Species. Goodbye Texas.

For the past several months the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing have been working together to create a better texasinvasives.org. In addition to a more user friendly interface, the new website sports new content, such as YouTube videos and creatives that you can share and new features like Eco Alerts by Region and a Report It system to help keep the worst of the worst out of Texas.
Got Ailanthus?

Researchers at Penn State University are working with a native vascular wilt fungus as a potential biocontrol of tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). The project seeks to characterize the diversity of Ailanthus throughout the U.S. and test the susceptibility of Ailanthus to the fungus. They have already collected seed from more than 20 states mostly in the northeast, Midwest, and northwest and are now looking to collect seeds from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Louisiana. Please email Matt Kasson to learn how you can help.  

Austin to Consider Invasive Species Resolution

In what may be a first for Texas municipality, Austin City Council will vote on an invasive species resolution on April 8, 2010. The resolution points out the problem of invasive species and directs the City Manager to develop an Invasive Species Management Plan for the control and/or eradication of undesirable aquatic and terrestrial species - View Agenda
Invasive Spotlight: Malta-star thistle
(Centaurea melitensis)

Malta-star thistle is an erect annual with a spiny, yellow-flowered head that typically reaches 1 m tall. Stem leaves are alternate, and mostly linear or narrowly oblong to oblanceolate. Malta-star thistle is easily recognizable by its spiny bud that is produced before flowering.

Plants can produce 60 or more seeds per head and 100 or more heads per plant. The heads stick to clothing, animal fur and vehicles, allowing for long distance seed dispersal. When malta-star thistle infestations are high, native species can experience drought conditions even in years with normal rainfall.

Malta-star thistle usually occurs in open, disturbed sites such as grasslands, rangeland, open woodlands, fields, pastures, roadsides, waste places and fields.

Learn more about malta-star thistle and other Texas Invasives.

News & Events

USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection - Request for Proposals for Biological Control of Invasive Native and Non-Native Plants - Learn More

US Fish and Wildlife Service - Funding opportunity is to provide assistance in preventing, managing, and controlling aquatic invasive species within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Southwest Region - Learn More

Joint meeting of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and the Southeast Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration International (May 11-13, 2010) - Learn More

Save The Date! Natural Areas Conference 2010 will be held October 25-29, in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri - Learn More

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to iwire@texasinvasives.org


Welcome El Camino Real Invaders

Last week we had the opportunity to enjoy the Spring weather and head out to Cameron, Texas to train the new satellite - El Camino Real Invaders. Our gracious hosts, the El Camino Real Master Naturalists, put on a great workshop featuring delicious BBQ sandwiches for lunch! The day was topped off with a field trip to the Little River to see the Chinaberry trees and Ligustrum infestations along the "not-so" Little River. The El Camino Real Invaders puts a much needed satellite in the Post Oak Savannah where we do not have many citizen scientists. Welcome aboard El Camino Real Invaders!

Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Workshops 2010

Workshops are filling up fast! So far we have workshops scheduled in Houston, Boerne, Karnack, Kerrville, Cameron, Austin and Houston. To sign up or request a new workshop, please visit the Invaders of Texas Workshop Page.

Saturday April 10, 2010
Karnack, TX

Saturday April 17, 2010
Boerne, TX, Cibolo Nature Center library

Saturday May 1, 2010
Austin, TX, Austin Nature and Science Center

Saturday May 15, 2010
Houston, TX, Harris County AgriLife Extension Office

Saturday May 22, 2010
Kerrville, TX