It's official! Melia azaderach (Chinaberry) has been added to the Texas Department of Agriculture's Noxious and Invasive Plants list. TIPPC submitted a formal request in 2012 after the successful addition of Lygodium japonicum (Japanese climbing fern), the first species to make the list after a formal request from TIPPC. 

2013 Conference Update
It's a TIPPC conference year!  Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas) will host the biennial conference in late fall.  Stay tuned for exact dates and event details!  


The Bigger Problem:
Kudzu or the Kudzu Bug?

The 2009 discovery of an exotic insect in Georgia, Megacopta cribaria (kudzu bug), seemed like a potential problem-solver for the "Vine that Ate the South", Pueraria lobata (kudzu). The kudzu bug feasts on the invasive vine, and studies indicate that this insect is able to reduce a kudzu patch by 50% within two years (Jim Hanual, U.S. Forest Service).

Unfortunately, kudzu bugs also feed on several other legume species, including soybeans.  In fact, research indicates that if infested fields are left untreated, there can be up to a 20% decline in soybean yield (Phillip Rogers, University of Georgia).

Since the 2009 introduction, kudzu bugs have spread rapidly and are currently 
reported in seven states across the southeast U.S.  They have several generations per year, and typically solely feed on kudzu in the spring then shift to soybeans or other hosts in the late summer to fall.  In the winter they become a household nuisance as they like to congregate on light-colored surfaces, such as home siding, water pipes, fascia boards, etc. (NC State University, Entomology Extension).

Do your part to report kudzu bug sightings, protect your home and farmland, and practice sound pest control. - Read More
Invasive Species Control Taken to a Whole New Level - the Air:
Toxic Mice Airdropped in Guam

A highly invasive species to the U.S. territory of Guam, Bioga irregularis (brown tree snake), is responsible for the extinction or severe reduction of several native species to the island. The brown tree snake "is a nocturnal, arboreal predator. There's just nothing like it here. It arrived here and found an island full of very naïve native wildlife," says David Vice from USDA Wildlife Services.  

Over the last several years, different strategies to have been implemented to combat this reptile pest, including trapping, snake-detecting dogs, and nightly spotlight searches. Within the next several months, an entirely new approach will be set into action - dead mice laced with painkillers.

The mice will have little parachutes and dropped from helicopters in hopes that they get snagged in the forest canopy and eaten by the snake. Little impact on native species is expected, primarily because the snakes have wiped out the birds and other species that would have been at risk. - Read More.

More News

EAB News: New Method to Lure Males to Decoy Females
Penn State University may have found a new early detection method to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer. - Read More.  

Illinois ISAM's Hunt for "Invasive Species Slogans" 5th Edition - Illustrations
This new series of posts focuses on fun, interesting, creative, and sometimes strange approaches to invasive species illustrations, with a special call for creative conference T-shirts. - Check out the submitted entries or enter your own!

Commander Ben Featured in Texas Co-op Power
Austin local, Ben Shrader, deemed "An Invasive's Worst Nightmare" in the most recent edition of Texas Co-op Power.  Kudos to Ben for his educational blog and "Invasive Hunter Academy", efforts that support invasive species outreach. - Read More.   

Help Austin Parks Foundation Restore Blunn Creek Preserve 
Volunteer to h
elp restore Blunn Creek Nature Preserve with exotic plant removal, native plantings, trail restoration, litter pickup, etc. on Saturday March 2nd.  Register here.

Job Announcement: Hawaii Invasive Species Council Planner
The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii is recruiting for a full-time position to assist with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Invasive Species Program and the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC). Interested parties should log on to http://www.rcuh.com and search for Job ID #13117 to apply. Recruitment ends 3/20/13.

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



Volunteer to Monitor Invasives on City of Austin Land

The City of Austin and the Invaders of Texas Program have partnered to train local volunteers on invasive plant species identification and monitoring.  These efforts are in support of Austin’s Invasive Species Management Plan, the first plan of its kind in Texas and the second municipal plan in the nation!  Volunteers will work with city staff to develop a base map of where invasive plant species are located on City lands, and that information will be used to prioritize sites for treatment or removal of invasive plant species.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will host four workshops during the spring and summer of 2013.  The goal is to train 180 “citizen scientists” who are willing to dedicate at least 20 hours of service during the summer monitoring season. 

Attend the first upcoming workshop:
Date:   March 23, 2013
Time:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

                    4801 La Crosse Ave. Austin, TX 78739
Agenda: Download PDF
Registration: Available through Texasinvasives.org
This workshop is open to the public and free of charge.  Lunch will not be provided, please bring a sack lunch or money to purchase on-site at the cafe.



Citizen Science Workshops

Sentinel Pest Network & Invasive Species Workshops
These workshops supplement the Invaders of Texas program by training citizen scientists to identify and report invasive pests of regulatory concern like Emerald Ash Borer and the Cactus Moth while they are out looking for invasive plants. The morning session will cover non-native, invasive pests, and the afternoon session will be a refresher course on non-native, invasive plants that occur in your area. 

We have funding for 10 workshops in 2013, so schedule your workshop, today!

Workshop Schedule:

Saturday March 23rd, 2013
Location: Austin, Texas 
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland 
*See announcement above for more details

Saturday April 6th, 2013

Location: Jasper, Texas 
Host: Longleaf Ridge Master Naturalist
Contact: Lori Horne

Friday April 19th, 2013
Location: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge 
Contact: Anne Hamman

Saturday April 20th, 2013 (1/2 day new topics and refesher)
Location: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge 
Contact: Anne Hamman

Saturday June 22nd, 2013
Location: Acton Nature Center (Acton, TX)
Host: Rio Brazos Master Naturalist
Contact: Robert Theimer

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

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


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Invaders of Texas
4801 La Crosse Ave
Austin, Texas 78739

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