U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

2005 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Invasive Species Inventory and Monitoring with Volunteers on San Luis NWR Complex
Region: 8
Station: San Luis NWR Complex
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Kim Forrest (209) 826-3508
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
A program to inventory and monitor noxious weeds with the assistance of volunteers was initiated on San Luis and Merced National Wildlife Refuges. The purpose of this work was to establish baseline data on population levels and distributions of invasive weed species while also providing volunteer opportunities to the public. Baselines generated from this effort will be compared with data from future monitoring to describe changes in invasive species composition, percent cover, and colonization of new areas. This program will also allow managers and biologists to evaluate the effectiveness of weed control treatments over time and guide the adaptive management of the Refuge. The study focused on two management units: the tule elk enclosure (760 acres) at the San Luis NWR and the Lone Tree Unit (600 acres) at the Merced NWR. Each unit was divided into a grid of 10-acre blocks that served as sampling units to map and quantify levels of infestation. Each 10-acre block contained 2 randomly-determined 100-meter transects. A point-intercept method was used to determine weed species percent cover for each transect.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  yellow star thistle Centaurea solstitialis
perennial pepperweed Lepidium latifolium
milk thistle Silybum marianum
Italian thistle Carduus tenuiflorus
five hook bassia Bassia hyssopifolia
Russian thistle Salsola tragus
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
    VA_SchoolGrp                            VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Two volunteers participated in this field season of the project: one university student from California State University Monterey Bay and one volunteer from the local community. Volunteers assisted with every aspect of the fieldwork of this project. Volunteer activities included using GPS units to locate transect locations, collecting data along the transect, and recording data. Public outreach materials produced from this initial season of monitoring will be used to recruit university student volunteers for future field seasons.
Total Number of Volunteers: 2
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 30
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
The volunteer opportunity was advertised to local colleges and universities that have worked with the Refuge Complex in the past. This project marked the first participation from California State University, Monterey Bay.


Project Results:
Give an overview of the results of the project. Include quantifiable measure of success, such as maps produced, efficacy of control measures, number of sites where invasions were detected early and responded to, number of community contacts, etc. (Up to 250 words).
GIS maps depicting the percent cover of the target weed species were produced for each of the study units. Mean percent cover for the target weed species for all 10-acre blocks in the elk enclosure (n=81) are as follows: yellow star thistle mean=13.24, SE=1.74; pepperweed mean=0.09, SE=0.03; milk thistle mean=0.69, SE=0.26; Italian thistle mean=0.23, SE=0.1. Mean percent cover for the target weed species for all 10-acre blocks in the Lone Tree Unit (n=73) are as follows: yellow star thistle mean=14.67, SE=1.72; five hook bassia mean=8.9, SE=1.08. This data represents a baseline from which future comparisons can be made. As weed control continues through herbicide application, prescribed fire, and mechanical treatments, the effectiveness of these efforts will be captured by this monitoring program.
Number of Acres Treated:
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 1360
Number of Acres Restored:


Budget: Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.

Total Grant Amount:

$ 9500

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 9500 100
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL 9500 100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?


- Return to Main Menu -