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San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge Staff Work to Remove Malta Starthistle Adjacent to Refuge Wetland
Southwest Region, May 29, 2010
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Like most areas of the country, the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge has had its share of invasive species that it has had to battle from bullfrogs to Russian thistle (tumbleweeds).  One of the nastier invasive plants the refuge has to deal with is Malta starthistle.  Introduced from the Mediterranean, this plant can out compete native species and reduce wildlife habitat and forage.  This starthistle has been in southern Arizona since the beginning of the last century and was discovered on the refuge near one of the wetlands several years ago.  Whenever the plant is found, it is removed, placed in garbage bags, and disposed of.  This plant thrives with good winter and early spring rainfall and this year provided ample moisture.  On two different occasions, refuge staff removed a total of 80 plants from a 500 square foot area.  This area will be watched very closely over the next several years to ensure that the plant is not spreading and that control efforts are successful.

Contact Info: Christopher Lohrengel, 520-364-2104 x.106, chris_lohrengel@fws.gov



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