Biocontrol of Saltcedar
By Ron Billings, Texas Forest Service

This summer, extensive stands of Saltcedar are being defoliated along the Rio Grande River. The bio-control agent is a recently-released species of saltcedar leaf beetle, Diorhabda sublineata. Collected from Tunisia, it is known to feed only on salt cedar and poses no threat to native plants. This effort is a cooperative project between the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Texas AgriLife Extension Service. It is hoped that these biological control agents will be more cost effective and long lasting than use of prescribed fire and herbicides as control methods for this invasive species. The accompanying photo was taken between Presidio and Redford by Ron Billings, on August 12, 2010.  
APHIS declares August Invasive Species Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has proclaimed August as “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.” Beginning this year, APHIS will engage the public each August to increase understanding about the risks that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America’s agricultural and natural resources. But APHIS can’t do it alone. Concerned citizens can find a list of specific actions they can take to protect our nation’s ecological health in the APHIS factsheet "Attack of the Invasive Species".

DoD Invasive Species Outreach Toolkit

The Department of Defense has created an invasive species outreach toolkit to help installation natural resources managers protect the natural resources on our nation's military lands. The Toolkit is an education and outreach tool to help DoD land managers communicate about invasive species. Through funding from the Legacy Program the toolkit contains modifiable outreach materials such as posters, brochures, reference cards, and a PowerPoint presentation. A list of resources to help identify funding sources is also included in the new toolkit. - Learn More

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has announced the state's first detection of emerald ash borer. The discovery was made recently at a truck stop in Knox County near the Loudon County line. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry estimates that five million urban ash trees in Tennessee are potentially at risk from EAB. The risk represents an estimated value loss of $2 billion. – Learn More

Invasive Spotlight: Guineagrass
(Urochloa maxima)

Guineagrass is a large perennial bunchgrass, growing 2 to 10 feet tall. Its tiny, inconspicuous, green flowers have both male and female parts arranged along long branches of a large, sometimes nodding plume. Guineagrass closely resembles another invasive grass, Johnsongrass, and is found invading natural areas in South Texas.

Guineagrass was first introduced as a forage grass from Africa and has now escaped forming dense stands in open pastures and disturbed areas suppressing or displacing native vegetation. Its resistance to drought allows it to build up a dangerous amount of plant material resulting in hotter fires that destroy native plants.

Learn more about Guineagrass and other Texas Invasives.

More News

Saltcedar Biological Control Consortium, September 14-17
Texas-New Mexico-Mexico Section
Sept. 14-16th in Alpine, TX & Sept. 16-17th in Big Spring, TX.
More information

2010 NPSOT Symposium
The Native Plant Society of Texas has opened on-line registration for Symposium 2010, a how-to-create sustainable landscapes educational event, to be held from Oct 7 - Oct 10 at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. More information

2010 Registration for Potential Invasive Pest Workshop
This workshop will include specialists on some of the most recent invasive pests and on potential invaders in order to provide researchers, regulatory personnel and growers with the necessary tools to address these potential threats.
More information

2010 Natural Areas Conference
This conference will provides practical, land management focused information through symposia, workshops, paper sessions, posters, roundtables and opportunities for social networking. More information

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Citizen Scientist of the Month: Don Keith

Don Keith joined the Invaders of Texas program in the middle of July and has already reported over 300 observations. As a member of the newly formed Piney Wood Lakes satellite, he has made it his goal to survey Trinity County.

Don has a way to go, but he is on track to take the record for most observations by an Invaders of Texas citizen scientist. Keep up the great work Don!

Invaders of Texas is heading to CAST

The Science Teachers Association of Texas is hosting the 2010 Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST), November 11-13 in Houston, TX. CAST helps educators learn new teaching strategies, learning activities and engaging labs aligned to the TEKS for any grade level. This year there will be over 550 sessions for teachers to attend, and the Invaders of Texas will be one of them. We will be giving a presentation about opportunities for middle school and high school teachers to use the Invaders program in their classrooms. - Learn More

Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Workshops 2010

We have a workshop in North Texas (August 28th) and two in San Antonio (September 18th & 25th). To register or request a new workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.

Saturday August 28, 2010
Heard Museum, McKinney, TX

Saturday September 18, 2010
Cibolo Nature Center, Boerne, TX

Saturday September 25, 2010
University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX