Zebra Mussels Found in the Trinity River - Below Lake Ray Roberts

The University of North Texas (UNT) recently found Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussels) colonies in the Trinity River in Denton County. Less than a year has passed since zebra mussels were found in an upstream reservoir, Lake Ray Roberts, and three years since Texas' first zebra mussel discovery in Lake Texoma.

Once established, managing zebra mussel infestations is difficult.  "You can treat zebra mussels in confined regions, but to go out and try to treat and manage a river system like the Trinity River watershed is going to be practically impossible" said James Kennedy, a UNT biology professor monitoring zebra mussel populations. Additionally, zebra mussels clog water intake pipes and can make it difficult to move water to reservoirs. Since the Trinity River is a major water source for North Texas, this could potentially increase the cost of fresh water, said Kennedy. - Read More.

Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and other partners are working together to stop the spread of zebra mussels by providing outreach materials and allowing Texasinvasives.org visitors to REPORT SIGHTING

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Nandina Toxic to Birds:
Cedar Waxwings Found Dead in GA

Dozens of Cedar Waxwings were found dead in Thomas County, Georgia in April 2009. More recently, a study was released revealing that several of these birds had evidence of congestion and hemorrhage in various tissues and organs, particularly in the lungs.

Cedar waxwings are known to have voracious feeding behavior, and it was found that they had eaten toxic doses of Nandina domestica (nandina or heavenly bamboo) berries.  Nandina contains cyanide and is one of the few species to have abundant berries at that time of year in the region.

Nandina is a known problematic invasive species, though still often planted as an ornamental.  There are many native berry-producing shrub species that can be alternatively planted, and the Georgia Exotic Pest and Plant Council has these suggested alternatives for nandina and other invasive plant species.  

Legislative News:
Improved Lacey Act in the Works

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act (H.R. 996) on March 6, 2013.  The bill updates the Lacey Act to strengthen the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to assess and designate a species as "injurious" and improves their ability to limit imports and transports of these species.

The bill categorizes injurious species into two levels, and prohibits any person from:

(1) Importing or knowingly possessing such an Injurious I or II taxon
(2) Engaging in interstate commerce for or knowingly possessing such species
(3) Releasing any such species into the wild. 

The bill also authorizes the Director to immediately and "temporarily" designate a nonnative taxon as Injurious, thus improving the ability to quickly respond to newly introduced problematic species.  - Read More.

More News

Volunteer on National Trails Day: June 1, 2013
Austin Parks Foundation is partnered with Hill Country Conservancy and Texas Conservation Corp [formerly EnvironmentalCorp/AmericanYouthworks] to host Austin's National Trails Day, on Saturday June 1, 2013. - Register Here.  

Don'tMoveFirewood.org: New E-Newsletter
The Firewood Outreach Coordinating Initiative (FOCI) of the Continental Dialogue on Non-native Forest Insects and Diseases is starting an e-newsletter in the hopes of streamlining and facilitating communications with the very wide variety of firewood outreach professionals and stakeholders. - Read April 2013.

Texas A&M Forest Service "Go To Guy" Retires
Herbert (Joe) A. Pase III, an entomologist for the TFS is set to retire this June after 40-years of service.  He has been the primary resource 
for state foresters, private foresters and landowners with issues related to East Texas insect and diseases-effected trees. 

Wild Hogs: Hogging the News
Wild hogs continue the media's attention as they are now found in three-fourths of U.S. states. There is an estimated 5 million hogs nationwide causing an approximately $1.5 billion in damages each year. - Read More.

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



Invasive Plant Removal Efforts:
Tools for Success

The Invaders of Texas Program is calling out for a statewide partnership between volunteer groups conducting invasive plant removal work.  We want to help you get the tools you need to get the job done! 

This effort was initiated by the Balcones Invaders Satellite Group to support their invasive plant removal efforts in natural areas of the San Antonio Parks and Recreation system.

A tools donation request will be made to the Stanley Black and Decker Charitable Giving Program.  If you are interested in partnering, please submit a short statement of interest outlining the following
1.  Organization (background, location and mission)
2.  Tool needs
3.  Locations for invasive species removal efforts.

Please send your interest letters via email to Jessica Strickland by June 31, 2013.  

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Citizen Science Workshops

Invaders of Texas and Sentinel Pest Network Workshops
Invaders of Texas program workshops train volunteers to become "citizen scientists" to identify, detect and report invasive plant species.  Workshops can include sessions on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the probability of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.  Workshops can be tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on Texasinvasives.org designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.  

Workshop content may vary by location, so please visit the workshop page to get details on the scheduled workshop in your area.  

Workshop Schedule:

Saturday May 11th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX)  
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland 
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday May 18th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX) 
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday June 8th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX 
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday June 22nd, 2013

Location: Acton Nature Center (Acton, TX)
Host: Rio Brazos Master Naturalist
Contact: Robert Theimer

Saturday June 29th, 2013
Location: Bryan/College Station, TX
Host: Brazos Valley Master Naturalist
Contact: Dr. Amanda Chau

Saturday July 13th, 2013
Location: Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (Athens, TX)
Host: Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland

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


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