Invasive Species Legislation:
"Invasive Fish & Wildlife Prevention Act"

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) is set to introduce the The Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act which will improve U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) ability to regulate the live animal trade (e.g., Asian carp, northern snakehead, and Burmese python). Currently, invasive species are regulated by the Lacey Act, a 112-year-old law that gives FWS limited power to declare non-native animals as “injurious”.  This prohibits importation and interstate sales, but takes an average of four years per species listing. 

The Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act would use a more streamlined approach, reducing the lag-time associated with listing noxious species.  It also creates a category of “Injurious II” species, which are not suited as private pets or aquarium species, but can be held safely by qualified zoos, aquaria, research facilities, and other institutions without any need for a Federal permit.

The bill was set for release in May, and has already gathered bipartisan support! 
CongressSeal 2
Just Released: Risk Assessment Model
Asian Gypsy Moth in Texas

Lymantria dispar sp. (Asian Gypsy Moth, AGM) is an exotic pest periodically intercepted at ports of entry, but has yet to establish itself in the U.S.  There is an established European variety that was purposefully introduced in 1869 to improve the silkworm industry. It has since destroyed approximately two million acres of northeastern forests as it forages on over 300 tree and shrub species.  The AGM is considered a greater threat than its European counterpart. It has a wider host range (500 species) and the female is capable of flight, unlike the European.  

The USDA-APHIS recently released an Introduction and Establishment Risk Model for AGM in Texas.  Model parameters include (in order of importance):
1.  Proximity to ports of entry and Mexico
2.  Vegetation
3.  Proximity to highway and railway
4.  Human population
5.  Fireworks distributors
6.  Military shipments

Model results indicate that most of Central Texas and the westernmost boundary of East Texas are considered "High Risk".  - Read Full Report
Invaders of Texas Funding for 2013: 
Establishing a Sentinel Pest Network

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 24th that the USDA will support 321 projects that focus on invasive pest and disease prevention.  A total of $50 million dollars will be provided by Section 10201 of the 2008 Farm Bill, a bill that has funded over 600 projects in the last three years.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center applied for funding to "Establish a Sentinel Network to Detect and Report Invasive Species”.  The funding will support public education efforts, including free workshops, online training modules, and

We are excited to continue our partnership with the USDA to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.   – Read More
Invaders with App-titude:
Invaders of Texas Mobile Application to Report Invasive Species

We are pleased to announce that Invader of Texas is going mobile.  This May, we received an "Empowerment Grant" from the Motorola Foundation to develop a mobile application for Android devices.

The Invaders App will streamline invasive species reporting and monitoring.  It requires only one device (no more gps or cameras!) and allows for instantaneous data entry. This should improve reporting by increasing “fly-by” observations (e.g., a chance-sighting) and reduce the number of lost or forgotten un-entered observations. 

Learn more about Motorola Empowered Zone: where education, health & wellness, and communities infuse digital technology to generate cutting-edge programming and innovation.

More News

Save the Date - National Trails Day on June 2nd
Participate in National Trails Day by volunteering to eradicate invasive species!  Austin Parks Foundation is leading an eradication group at Blunn Preserve. - Learn more

A New Mobile App for Texas Range and Pasture Plants:
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRITreleased a guide to 129 species of Texas Range and Pasture Plants for iPhone and Android devices.  Available for purchase for $1.99.  - Learn More

Deep Sea Invaders: Stowaways Survive a 600 km Trip from a Deep-Sea Vent Exploration 
A marine exploration to the Gorda Ridge accidently brought back deep-sea limpets to the Pacific Northwest, illustrating that some hardy sea species can survive the extreme pressure change. - Learn More

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week: May 20 - 26th
The USDA-APHIS continues it's public outreach campaign against pests of regulatory concern by dedicating a week to EAB trapping and firewood transportation restriction education. - Learn More

Check out the USDA-APHIS Asian Longhorned Beetle website for updates and distribution information.

Agriculturalist III Position Available: Nevada State Noxious Weed Program Coordinator
The Nevada Department of Agriculture is hiring a coordinator to improve their state noxious weed program. - Learn More

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

STAR INVADERS: A Special Thanks For All Your Hard Work!

Satellite Group: Piney Wood Lakes   

This May the Piney Wood Lakes Satellite hosted a workshop in Livingston, and went above and beyond the call of duty. Workshop hosts and helpers brought an amazing array of invasive species and native look-a-likes to assist with the species identification session of the workshop.  

A special thanks allows goes to satellite member, Don Keith, for making 89 observations in the month of May alone!
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Satellite Leader: Kris Kirkwood

The satellite leader from Mid Coast Invaders, Kris Kirkwood, is an inspirational leader for the Invaders Program.  She constructed field kits for invasive reporting, powerpoint presentations detailing different program areas, and facilitated post-workshop training sessions.  

Thank you Kris for taking the extra steps to ensure that your satellite group is active and successful with reporting invasive species!

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. 

Saturday June 9th, 2012
Location: Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station (Junction, TX)
Contact: Dr. Tom Arsuffi

Saturday July 28, 2012
Location: Rosenberg, TX
Contact: Margo "Mac" McDowell


Invaders of Texas & Invasive Species Eradication Workshops
The morning session of these workshops will cover the Invaders of Texas program, focusing on training citizen scientists to identify and report invasive plants.  The afternoon will cover best management practices for control and eradication of selected species.  We will also cover a new feature on, the "Eradicator Calculator", which is designed to help organize and record volunteer-based eradication efforts.  

Saturday June 16th, 2012
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland

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