A Harmless Wasp Could Help Slow Down Arundo donax

UT researchers have been investigating wasps that attack giant reed, creating galls that stress the plants and reduce their competitive advantage. Testing shows that the wasp feeds and completes its life cycle only on Arundo and does not pose a threat to any native plants. The tiny wasp also does not sting or harm humans, livestock or wildlife. According to the U.S.D.A., the wasp could save up to $30 million in control costs and increased water conservation. - Read More

H.B. 338: Moved To State Senate

H.B. 338 has passed through the House and is now waiting to be placed on a Senate Committee.

Committee Substitute House Bill 338 would require a public entity, other than the department, that produces for public distribution to commercial or residential landscapers a list of noxious or invasive terrestrial plant species that includes a species growing in this state shall provide with the list a disclaimer that states:

“This plant list is only a recommendation and has no legal effect in the state of Texas. It is lawful to sell, distribute, import, or possess a plant on this list unless the Texas Department of Agriculture labels the plant as noxious or invasive on the Department's plant list”

International Urban Wildlife and Planning Conference, Austin, TX

The Wildlife Society - Urban Wildlife Working Group and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are pleased to host the 2011 International Urban Wildlife Planning and Management Conference in Austin, Texas. The conference's focus will be examining urban ecosystems, challenges of urban wildlife management, planning for the inclusion/exclusion of urban wildlife, the linkages of open space, urban forestry, research needs, and New Urbanism concepts. - Learn More

Foreign Beetle Discovered in Shipping Crate

The Brown Fir Longhorn beetle is not yet established in the US, but has been intercepted several times in shipping material at US ports. It is a potential host of cypress trees, and the climate of East Texas up to the Carolinas is suitable for this beetle to establish itself. Early detection is key, so learn more about this beetle.

Invasive Spotlight: Scarlet firethorn
(Pyracantha coccinea)

Native to Europe and western Asia, scarlet firethorn is a large evergreen shrub that is planted for its spectacular fall and winter display of scarlet fruits and its ability to withstand dry and droughty conditions.

Shooting long lanky stems in all directions, firethorn typically grows into a tangled mound up to 10 ft in height and 12 ft wide. It is armed with sharp thorns that hide among the dark, glossy green leaves. Clusters of small white flowers appear in spring.

Firethorn grows readily in forested areas and out competes native species. Birds readily eat berries and disperse seeds long distances.

Learn more about scarlet firethorn and other Texas Invasives.
More News

2011 Pulling Together Initiative Request for Proposals - More Information

Registration Open: Urban Wildlife Management and Planning Conference: May 22-25, 2011, Austin, TX - More Information

13th Annual Southeast EPPC Conference: May 3-5, 2011, Lexington, KY - More Information

Save the Date: 2011 Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Conference: November 7-10, Austin, TX

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


Four-legged Citizen Science

Working Dogs for Conservation (WDC) trains dogs using techniques similar to those used in search and rescue and narcotics detection to search out and locate hard to find, rare species, such as fish, lynx and kit foxes. By locating scat samples they are able to identify species’ presence, abundance, food habits, parasite loads, and habitat use. Analyses of hormones extracted from scats can show reproductive status while genetic analyses of the DNA contained in scat is used to identify species, sex and individuals, and determine population size, home range, paternity and kinship.

Recently WDC has been training the dogs to locate invasive species, such as the invasive snail Euglandina rosea in Hawaii. In July, Working Dogs for Conservation’s new mission will be to search out and eradicate yellow star thistle throughout the West. – Learn More
New Continuing Education Online Module: Emerald Ash Borer

Don't forget, we have added an Emerald Ash Borer training module to the Citizen Science Online Training. The purpose of the module is to train citizen scientists about the history of EAB introduction and how to identify and report this pest. This is a required module for all citizen scientists. Please visit the Online Training and complete the module soon.
Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Workshops

Saturday May 6-7, 2011
Abilene, TX [Advanced Training]

Saturday May 21, 2011
Comal County Extension Office, New Braunfels, TX

Friday July 1, 2011
Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Ft. Worth, TX

For more information or to request a workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.