Controlling Problem Species

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers actively manage problem species.

  • Seasonal Biological Technicians

    Bio Tech rig

    Seasonal biological technicians treat for Old World Bluestem and Johnsongrass throughout the Refuge, with emphasis on post-burn areas, as well as the treatment and control of Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) species. in 2016, the program acquired a new Kawasaki Mule and a Remcor sprayer which has proven to be a very efficient tool for treating OWB and Johnsongrass.

  • Volunteers assist

    Muellin chopping

    Volunteers play an integral role in the treatment of problem plant areas and are responsible for removing more than 5,800 common mullein plants. An expanded search for musk thistle was conducted in 2016 and resulted in a significant reduction in the original infestation along Blue Beaver Creek; however several individual plants were found along Panther Creek and a single plant growing along a creek bed on the west side of Graham Flat.

  • Invasive Plant Roundup

    Invasive Roundup

    The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge hosts an Invasive Plant Round-Up during late May or early June. Check the calendar on the homepage and come out and learn about the most damaging invasive plants in southwestern Oklahoma and help Refuge staff remove eastern red cedar, common mullein, sweet clover, prickly lettuce and other invasive plants.

    Plant counts are compared over a hot-dog lunch. Check the calendar for this years event and come out to this special event!

  • Feral hog control

    Feral hog sow

    The detrimental effects of feral hogs are visible in every habitat type and pose a serious threat to native wildlife throughout the refuge. Refuge staff perpetually takes action to help control the population including trapping and shooting. The refuge initiated another more effective method in 2015, aerial gunning. Aerial gunning provides very effective control across the entire refuge with much less time and effort. It also allows for control operations in less accessible areas of the refuge.