REMINDER: Sign Up Today for
Emerald Ash Borer Webinars

The team, in partnership with US Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine program, the Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Invasive Species Institute will be holding two free webinars in May to raise awareness about the emerald ash borer. 

On May 12th, webinar participants will receive an introduction to the emerald ash borer problem, including identification, impacts and signs of infestations. This webinar will also present an overview of trapping efforts in Texas, to identify whether an infestation is present. To register for this free webinar, please visit the May 12th registration page

On May 14th, webinar participants will learn how to prevent the introduction and movement of forest pests like emerald ash borer to Texas. It will also feature a new initiative by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to identify and map ash tree (Fraxinus sp.) locations statewide for a future seed collecting and storage for use in research and restoration. To register for this free webinar, please visit the May 14th registration page.

EAB_larvaeEmerald ash borer larvae. 
Adult emerald ash borer.

Photo credits: David Cappaert, Michigan State University, 
Invaders of Texas Funding for 2016: Enriching the Sentinel Pest Network

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was awarded Farm Bill funding to continue and enrich the Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Citizen Scientist Program. The award supports the statewide partnership to address invasive species by funding public education efforts, including free workshops and webinars.

The team and cooperators are excited to continue the partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction and spread of Invasive Species. 

Follow this link to learn more about the FY15 Farm Bill

Image credit: US Department of Agriculture

Invasive Species

Giant Salvinia
(Salvinia molesta)

A popular aquarium plant, this Brazilian aquatic fern was first discovered in South Carolina in 1995 and in Texas in 1997. It has become one of the most destructive aquatic invasive plants in Texas. It thrives in slow moving warm bodies of water, quickly creating dense mats that cover the surface, which can deplete oxygen levels and block sunlight. It can quickly choke out the native vegetation that supports the ecosystem. In the US, it reproduces mainly by budding from nodes or broken stems. It has spread throughout rivers and lakes in the Southern half of the US and Hawaii, though the majority of high infestations are in Texas and Louisiana. Caddo Lake is especially plagued by Giant Salvinia.

Because the Giant Salvinia reproduces mainly through budding, preventing the spread of the aquatic fern involves cleaning recreational watercraft and supplies thoroughly before leaving a suspected infestation area. Learn more about Giant Salvinia and how it threatens Texas waterways at Giant Salvinia.

If you find a suspected infestation please become a citizen scientist and report this species

Robert Videki, Doronicum Kft.,
More News

TPWD to Launch New Zebra Mussel Campaign
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be launching a new campaign in May to educate boaters about zebra mussels.  With new ads and other materials, they intend to increase awarenes to the problems zebra mussels pose, especially around the lakes in Texas that are presently infested.  Keep an eye out for the new campaign!

New Model Shows Areas in Germany at Risk From Invasive Mosquito
Scientists in Germany have developed distribution models for the Asian rock pool mosquito. These new models can help predict “hotspots” and recommend monitoring for the mosquito. The Asian rock pool mosquito has spread across Europe and is a potential vector for diseases such as West Nile virus and dengue fever. Learn more about the researchers’ efforts at Asian rock pool mosquito.

Variability the Key to Invasive Mammal Species
A new study published in The American Naturalist, has suggested the key to a mammal species becoming invasive is the variability of its population. Read more about the study at mammalian variability.

Invasive Species Boost Endangered Galapagos Tortoises
The Galapagos Islands are best known for their endemic flora and fauna but they are disappearing fast thanks to agriculture, invasive species, and humans. A new study shows however, that giant tortoises on the island of Santa Cruz are reaping the benefits. Learn more about the tortoises change in diet at . Discovery News.

Sugarcane Aphids Threaten the Rio Grande Valley
Farmers in the Rio Grande Valley are facing the threat of the invasive sugarcane aphid. This aphid was first discovered in the US in 2013 and is responsible for the loss of approximately 15% of last year’s sorghum crops. Read more about the aphid and the threat to sorghum at

Landmarks Help New Populations of Invasive Species Take Over
A recent study identifies how small populations of invasive species can take over an area. The local landmarks act as a meeting place for individuals, allowing relatively small populations to meet and reproduce. Learn more about “landmarking” at

nicheRover: a New Statistical Tool
Niches play a fundamental role in an ecosystem and how species are distributed. Accurately predicting how an introduced species will interact within a new environment and what niches it will fill are major steps in controlling an invasion. A new statistical tool, nincheRover has been developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo to help ecologist tackle invasive species threats by identifying if niche overlapping can occur. Read more about nicheRover at

Two Invasive Termite Species Superswarm in South Florida
Asian and Formosan subterranean termites are blamed for roughly $40 million dollars in economic loss. The Asian termite, originally from China, and the Formosan termite, originally from Southeast Asia, have shown evidence of overlapping swarming seasons in South Florida. A UF study has also shown the potential for hybridization between the two species. Learn more about the termite threat at hybrid termites.

Towns Choosing to Remove Healthy Ash Trees
Threatened with the daunting task of stopping the infestation of their urban landscapes, many towns such as Waterloo, Iowa are choosing to remove their ash trees before the emerald ash borer can get to them first. In some areas, ash trees make up about 40% of the urban landscape. Read more about the removal of urban ash at bostonglobe.

Bacteria the Key to Combating Deadly White-nose Syndrome
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz have recently published a study showing the potential weapon against white-nose syndrome, bacteria. Naturally occurring on bats, these bacteria can inhibit the growth of the fungus that has up to a 90% mortality rate. Learn more about the study and how it could potentially save bats at white-nose syndrome.

How Christmas Lake is Losing Its Zebra Mussels
Researchers and staff used a combination of three methods to fight off zebra mussels and it looks like they may have won. Caught very early, staff members were able to use a new pesticide made from dead bacteria, a copper treatment, and pot ash to stave off a zebra mussel infestation. No mussels have been further reported but the search continues. Read more about the treatments at star tribune.

Goldfish Now Threaten Colorado Lake
What was once four or five pet goldfish is now a destructive force threatening the entire ecosystem of Teller Lake #5 in Boulder. Now numbering over 3,000, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is left to eradicate them. Learn more about the consequences of releasing pets into the wild at abc news.

Stopping Lantana camara Linked to Species Complexity
They may look like the native lantana but the pink and yellow lantanas we see all over town are an invasive species taking over roughly 60 countries around the world. They can be very difficult to treat and a team of researchers at the University of Delhi in India have pointed to the complexity of the species as the reason behind the problem. Read more about the Lantana camara and the study at

Nile Monitor Causes Trouble for Florida
Florida Fish and Wildlife has begun ramping up efforts to control the Nile monitor along the Atlantic Coast as breeding season approaches. The monitors, who can vary in size and diet, have made a home along the canals of Southeast Florida and are dangerous to pets and possibly people. Learn more about the Nile monitors at African lizards.

Where Invasive Species Don’t Grow
A simple question, “Is there anywhere left free from invasive species?” lead to a great discussion on how invasive species have moved throughout the world, the ecological impact they have had and what can and has been done to remove them from an environment. Read what Piero Genovesi, the Chair for the Invasive Species Specialist Group, and others have to say at The Last Places On Earth.

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



Sentinel Pest Network and Invasive Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scie= ntists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops can include sessions on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the probabili= ty of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance. Workshops can be tailore= d 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 designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

Funding for more workshops will become available in August.  In the meantime, f
or more information or to request a workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.