Groups across the nation are celebrating National Invasive Species Awareness Week this week, Feb. 27 through March 3.
An invasive species is a plant, animal or other organism that is nonnative to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm, according to the National Invasive Species Information Center.
The United States loses billions of dollars in damages caused by invasive species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates U.S. agriculture, alone, loses $13 billion annually in crops lost to invasive insects. Other invaders, like feral hogs, also threaten native wildlife and natural resources.
Throughout the country, organizations are hosting events to raise awareness of invasive species and work toward solutions.
A few invasive species known to be in the Southern Great Plains are:
Most land managers should strive to reduce feral hog numbers and musk thistles. If you're managing for wildlife, you'll be most interested in reducing or preventing the spread of old world bluestems, kudzu and sericea lespedeza. If raising cattle is of primary importance, old world bluestem and kudzu may or may not be a management concern.
Below are a few of our resources to help you manage some of the invasive species we face in the region. If you have questions about managing invasive species on your land, feel free to reach out to a Noble Research Institute agricultural consultant through the Ag Helpline.
- Musk Thistle: Control before they flower. (February 2012)
- Feral Hog: An overview of feral hogs in Oklahoma, and what we can do about it. (January 2010)
- BoarBuster: The history behind building a better feral hog trap. (February 2015)
- Johnsongrass: Some positives, some negatives. (August 2008)
- Eastern Red-cedar: Native but an invader, thanks in part to fire suppression. (February 2009)
You can learn more and find events on the National Invasive Species Awareness Week website.