Texas Invasive Plant
and Pest Conference

February 26-28, 2014 - Port Aransas, TX

Coming in February, the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council will be co-hosting the fifth statewide conference on invasive species. Building on previous conferences, the 2014 conference will be a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, poster sessions, workshops and field trips. Visit the conference website to learn more. Register on or before February 11, 2014 to receive the early registration discount ($150 regular, $50 student). Registration increases on February 12, 2013 to $175 regular, $60 student.  Register today.

Submit An Abstract
Each contributed presentation or poster at the 2014 conference requires an abstract. The deadline for receiving abstracts is January 15, 2013. Submit an abstract today. 

Student Travel Grants
Student Travel Grants are awarded to students who are presenting at the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference. In addition to a $150 travel stipend, recipients will receive a complimentary registration.  Apply for a student travel grant today!

Student Awards

In 2014, all presenting students are automatically included in the student awards competition, competing for over $5,000 in cash awards.

Call for Award Nominations
TIPPC will recognize the 2014 Outstanding Citizen Scientist, Outstanding Satellite Leader, Outstanding Citizen Landowner/Manager, and Outstanding Public Servant. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized in one of these categories, please email Trey Wyatt (twyatt@austin.rr.com) with your nomination.

Spread the Word
Share this information with family, friends or professionals that are interested in invasive species. 

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Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference
New Rules to Prevent Zebra Mussel Spread in Texas

In the state's ongoing effort to combat the spread of invasive zebra mussels, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has created new rules to halt the spread of the species. Effective December 10th, all boats operating on public water in 17 Northeast Texas counties must be drained after use or face legal consequences. Read More.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is inviting public comments on a proposal to add 30 additional counties to the recently-implemented rules preventing zebra mussel spread. Read More.

Comments on potential additions can be made in writing to Ken Kurzawski, TPWD Inland Fisheries, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, by emailing ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov, or in person at any of the two following public hearings. 
  • Tuesday, January 7 in Austin at TPWD Headquarters, Commissioners Meeting Room - 4200 Smith School Road.
  • Thursday, January 9 in Waco at the McLennan County Courthouse, Commissioners Courtroom - 1st Floor, 501 Washington Ave.
Visit www.texasinvasive.org/zebramussels for detailed information on zebra mussel prevention.

Invasive Spotlight:
Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis)

The brown tree snake is a slender, climbing snake with large eyes and vertical pupils, for improved nocturnal vision. The head is considerably wider than the neck. Markings may be either vague or distinct blotches on a brownish-yellow background. Black specking may also be present on some individuals. Brown tree snakes are about 38 centimeters at hatching and may reach two to three meters in length at adulthood.

While brown tree snakes have been reported in Texas, they are most commonly found on Guam where they have been decimating birds and herpetofauna.

Federal officials are delivering a special present to the naughty invasive snakes on Guam this year, in the form of 2,000 toxin infused air dropped mice wearing tiny cardboard parachutes. Read more about the project in the NY Daily News.

Follow the link to learn more about this species.
More News

Invasive Turkestan Cockroach Displacing Oriental Cockroach in Southwestern US
The invasive Turkestan cockroach (Blatta lateralis) has been found to be spreading throughout the Southwestern United States and is becoming established in the South. Scientists have learned that the Turkestan cockroach is displacing the closely related Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis). Learn more by visiting EurekAlert!

USDA Releases 2014 Invasive Species Grants Workbook
Earlier this month, the United States Department of Agriculture released the 2014 version of "Grant and Partnership Programs that can Address Invasive Species Research, Technical Assistance, Prevention and Control." Read about available assistance in the workbook.

Invasive Species Control Helps Rarest Species
There is good and bad news from the worlds leading scientists who study endangered species, from the latest update to the "Red List", a guide to the worlds rarest species maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Among the good news for rare albatross species, biologists attribute removal of invasive species to the protection of their eggs. Learn more about the conservation status of the world's rarest species.

Researchers Revise Their Interpretation of Darwin's Thinking on Invasive Species
After more than a century and a half, researchers have changed their opinion of Charles Darwin's "naturalization conundrum". Darwin predicted that newly introduced species have a competitive edge over native species if they were closely related. However, recent studies suggest that relatedness between species is not as important as once thought. Use of this new information, could lead to a new way of predicting the invasive potential of species. Learn more in Science Daily.

Emerald Ash Borer, Located in Madison Wisconsin
The emerald ash borer has recently been located in Madison, Wisconsin and will carry a hefty cost. The City of Madison expects to spend $4 million dollars fighting the emerald ash borer in coming years. Read more about the City's plan in the Wisconsin State Journal.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Offers Online Invasive Plants Course
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is offering a new online course in January. The two-day course will be led by instructors from across the country and will provide participants practical and basic information on the ecology and management of invasive plants. For more information and course details, visit the North American Invasive Plant Short Course webpage

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

Citizen Scientists of the Month
Friends of West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt

The December Citizen Scientists of the Month are the Friends of West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt and the West Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association in Austin. The partnership was nominated by restoration team members, who remove invasive species in the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt. 

The community volunteer team has removed Ligustrum, catclawvine, heavenly bamboo, and other invasive species since 2009. Through this effort, the group is working toward an invasive species free landscape where neighbors and other community members can take their children, watch birds, hike and bike.

For more information or to get involved in enhancing the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt, visit their Facebook page.

Keep up the good work!

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to iwire@texasinvasives.org.


Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network which serves to increase the awareness 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.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for 10 workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Wednesday, January 26, 2014
Location: New Braunfels Public Library (New Braunfels, TX)
Contact: Rosalie Meier

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Location: TBD (Brady, TX)
Contact: Sheila Van Zant

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Location: TBD (New Braunfels, TX)
Contact: Billy Hutson

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Location: University of Texas Winedale Historical Complex (Round Top, TX)
Contact: Judith Deaton

Wednesday, September 27, 2014
Location: River Legacy Living Science Center (Arlington, TX)

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page.