Red River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

 

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Invasive Species

Tri-foliate Orange Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Tri-foliate Orange Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

What are invasive species?

Invasive species are organisms that are introduced into a non-native ecosystem and which cause, or are likely to cause, harm to the economy, the environment or to human health. Some of the invasive species that can be found on the Red River NWR are: Chinese tallow, Chinese privet, chinaberry, princess paulownia, Japanese climbing fern, water hyacinth and feral hogs. Most invasive species “INVADE” after a disturbance, either natural or man-made. They tend to be prolific reproducers and take up all available space preventing native species from establishing in the area. In many cases, the invaders have left all natural predators in their native environment.

What is the refuge doing?

There is an invasive species removal program to restore the native plants and animal communities of the Red River flood basin which is one of the refuge’s main objectives. Efforts to remove all of the non-native invasive species from the refuge will be a long-term effort due primarily to reintroduction of invasives from neighboring properties. Management activities include chemical and mechanical removal of trees and non-woody plants. The refuge is working with partners to remove feral hogs.

What can you do to help?

Hog Damage Yate's Tract. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Hog Damage Yate's Tract. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Most invasive plant species start out as an ornamental in someone’s yard. They typically are very hardy and can grow in almost any soil type and with little care from the landowner. These ornamentals are chosen because they have very attractive flowers and produce desirable fruits. Those same qualities that make them desirable to people also make them desirable to wildlife. Many invasive plants, such as the Chinese tallow, produce abundant amounts of seed which attracts numerous bird species. Birds then ingest and subsequently disperse the seeds.

By planting native trees as ornamentals and removing non-natives you can greatly reduce the impact of non-native invasive species in your area.

For more information on invasive species visit:

Hog damage to refuge road. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Hog damage to refuge road. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

 

Last updated: March 18, 2013