Category Archives: Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed

Austin Invasive Species Corps Aid Golden-Cheeked Warbler

Mr. Darrell Hutchinson describes his work helping to track and protect the habitat for the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, an endangered species that breeds only in central Texas. He demonstrates how the weed wrench helps to remove invasive species that crowd out the native plants and trees in the warbler’s ecosystem.

Mr. Hutchinson is a biologist in Austin, Texas, and a member of Austin’s Invasive Species Corps. I interviewed “Corporal” Hutchinson during our invasive species volunteer day in August 2012. Learn more about my adventures with Austin’s Invasive Species Corps.

This video is part of my “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews with scientists that I first started at the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Your friend,
Ben

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Filed under Austin Invasive Species Corps, Citizen Scientist, Endangered Species, Golden Cheeked Warbler, Invasive Species, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Mr. Darrell Hutchinson, Volunteer, Weed wrench

Dr. Damon Waitt predicts the next big invasive species to threaten Texas rangelands

Last year, Dr. Damon Waitt predicted the onslaught of Bastard Cabbage, an invasive species with mustard flowers that overran our Texas Wildflowers. With my latest interview with Dr. Waitt, you can learn more about Yellow Star-Thistle, the next big invasive species to threaten our Texas pastures, roadsides, and rangelands.

Dr. Waitt is a Senior Botanist and Director of the Native Plant Information Network at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

I interviewed Dr. Waitt for this video during the Invasive Species Workshop for Citizen Scientists in June 2012 at the Wildflower Center.

It’s been only a few months, but I look much younger in my first video with Dr. Waitt, Advances in the fight against invasive species in Texas, that I filmed during the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference in November 2011.

Learn more about the invasive species that Dr. Waitt has talked about:

Your friend,
Ben

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Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, Bastard Cabbage, Citizen Scientist, Damon Waitt, Invasive Species, Invasive Species Workshop, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Wildflower center, Yellow Star-Thistle

Jessica Strickland talks at the Invasive Species Workshop for Citizen Scientists

Ms. Jessica Strickland talks about her background with invasive species during the Invasive Species Workshop for Citizen Scientists in June 2012.  Ms. Strickland is the Invasive Species Program Manager at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

Before she joined the Wildflower Center in February 2012, she worked with American Rivers on watershed protection, fish habitat, and water conservation.

She studied the invasive species Armored Catfish (Loricariidae) during snorkeling surveys.  Watch the video to find out which invasive plant species she finds the most threatening to our Texas waterways.

This video is part of my “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews with scientists that I first started at the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Learn how to become a citizen scientist

Your friend,
Ben

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Filed under American Rivers, Armored Catfish, Citizen Scientist, Giant Reed, Giant Salvinia, Hydrilla, Invaders of Texas, Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Program, Invasive Species, Invasive Species Workshop, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Jessica Strickland, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Wildflower center

Hydrilla and King Ranch Bluestem Create Devastating Monocultures on Water and Land

Ms. Mary Gilroy describes two invasive plants that have raided Texas waterways and prairies. Learn how Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) creates massive monocultures in lakes and how King Ranch Bluestem (KR Bluestem – Bothriochloa ischaemum) outcompetes native vegetation in the Central Texas Hill Country. Ms. Gilroy is an environmental scientist in Austin, Texas.

This video is part of Commander Ben’s “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews from the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Also, watch this YouTube video to see how the City of Austin and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have teamed up to release sterile grass carp to hunt down and munch away at Hydrilla on Lake Austin.

Commander Ben signing off…

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Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, Hydrilla, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, King Ranch Bluestem, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Mary Gilroy, Monoculture, Texas Hill Country

Strategy and Tactics for Combatting Invasive Plant Species

Mr. Matt McCaw talks about his work, helping to manage conservation lands and improve the quality of water entering aquifers. He describes the different physical and mechanical ways to combat privets (genus Ligustrum) in Central Texas and when necessary, what types of targeted herbicides are the most effective. Learn why he likes felling Chinaberries and why Saltcedars are so difficult to take down. Mr. McCaw is a biologist in Austin, Texas.

This video is part of Commander Ben’s “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews from the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Commander Ben signing off…

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Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, Aquifer, Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Chinaberry, City of Austin, City of Austin Wildland Conservation Division, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Ligustrum, Matt McCaw, Privet, Saltcedar

The Relentless March of the Soapberry Borer in Texas

Dr. Ronald F. Billings talks about the expanding range of the Soapberry Borer and how this invasive pest attacks native Western Soapberry trees in Texas. Also, learn how not moving firewood can help prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, another invasive species in the same genus. Dr. Billings is a Forest Health Manager with the Texas Forest Service.

This video is part of Commander Ben’s “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews from the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Commander Ben signing off…

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Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, Emerald Ash Borer, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Ronald Billings, Soapberry Borer, Texas Forest Service

Turn the Tide Against Zebra Mussels with Texas Parks and Wildlife

Ms. Darcy Bontempo talks about the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s continuing campaign against invasives with their spotlight on the Zebra Mussel, a species that presents an insidious danger with their millions of microscopic larva. She talks about the mussels’ economic and environmental impact and key steps boaters can take to stop their spread. Ms. Bontempo is the Marketing Director for the Communications Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

This video is part of Commander Ben’s “Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed” series of interviews from the 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference.

Our state parks need help

Texas Parks and Wildlife needs our help! This year’s drought, heat, and terrible wildfires has led to a drop in park attendance, and park visitor’s fees provide about half of the funding for our state parks.

If you can, please join me in making a donation to help our wonderful natural treasures, our state parks.

Commander Ben signing off…

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Filed under 2011 Texas Invasive Plant Conference, Darcy Bontempo, Invasive Species: Secrets Revealed, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Zebra Mussel