Natural Areas

Here are some of the IPM projects, innovations and research benefitting natural areas in the West. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.

Montana Develops Weed Seedling Guide for the Northern Great Plains

Rapid and accurate identification of weeds at the seedling stage can save producers and land managers time and money but most weed identification guides only provide information about the mature stage of the plants. Not this one.



Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

In 2015, the Invasive Species Insects Subgroup focused on coconut rhinoceros beetle, an invasive insect spreading across the Pacific. In March 2015, a work group gathered after the Hawaiian Entomological Society meeting to share the latest information and research on the beetle.



Water Quality Protection

To protect water sources from pollution by pesticides, one of the first Western IPM Center signature projects created training materials for proper pesticide application for agriculture, professional landscapers and homeowners. In a little more than one year, the slides were downloaded 106 times in 20 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and used to train more than 1,400 people. 



Tribal Work Group

The Western Region Tribal Work Group brought together representatives of several tribes and federal agencies to combat invasive species on tribal lands.



IPM in New Mexico

Like many states, some of the biggest IPM challenges facing New Mexico are being caused by newly arrived invasive pests, including the Bagrada bug and spotted wing Drosophila. Here's a look at the current state of IPM in New Mexico, and some of the IPM research going on there.



Flowering Rush

Flowering rush is an aquatic plant that escaped from cultivation as an ornamental and has spread to thousands of acres stretching from the Pacific Northwest to Wisconsin. The Flowering Rush Subgroup of the Western IPM Center's Invasive Species Signature Project is looking for an effective biocontrol.



Death From Above: Encouraging Natural Predators

Native predators like kestrels and barn owls can play a valuable role in controlling pests not only on farms, but also in parks, golf courses and large yards and gardens. While they rarely eliminate a pest problem, they can reduce the need for pesticide use and other pest-control measures.



Grazing Guidelines for Noxious Weed Control

Researchers, ranchers, and land managers know that livestock grazing can be a valuable and selective noxious-weed management tool, and this guide summarizes all the effective techniques.



Toolkit for Assessing IPM Outcomes and Impacts

The Western IPM Center’s IPM Adoption and Impacts Assessment Work Group, a collection of natural and social scientists from across the country, created online resources showing IPM researchers how to conduct basic impact assessments.



South American Palm Weevil

The South American palm weevil is a serious palm pest in its native range in Mexico, Central and South America. It is highly likely that the insect has established permanent populations in southern San Diego County in an area that ranges, at least, from San Ysidro to Chula Vista. 



Early Detection Combats Weed Invaders

Managing invasive weeds is a lot like planning a military defense. It’s easier to defeat a small number of invaders than a large army. It’s easier to respond to a limited incursion than fight a multi-front battle. And having an early warning system can make all the difference. In the fight against invasive weeds in Montana, early detection and rapid response is a key strategy for keeping some of the West’s worst weeds from gaining a foothold in the state.



Team Helps Combat Decline of Guam Ironwood Trees

In 2002, a local farmer noticed several Guam ironwood  trees planted in a single-row windbreak were dying.  By 2005, what became known as Ironwood Tree Decline was  widespread across the island, with some sites seeing more  than half of their ironwoods in distress.  Now researchers are beginning to understand why - and reverse the decline.



IPM in Montana

Montana is known as "The Last Best Place." An outdoor paradise, and home to wheat, barley and pulse crop production, Montana actively promotes integrated pest management to protect its agriculture and natural areas.



Colorado battling Emerald Ash Borer with coordination and cooperation

In Boulder, Colorado, Assistant Forester Kendra Nash was marking a dead tree for removal, when her spray-painted “X” crossed a D-shaped exit hole characteristic of the insect. The September 2013 discovery was the first in Colorado of the invasive beetle that's killed tens of millions of trees since first being detected in Michigan in 2002. Here's what's happened since.



Educating an Urban Public and Land Managers about Invasive Weeds

Having a clear, consistent message and speaking with one voice is helpful when it comes to educating the public about invasive species. Here's how the area around Portland, Oregon did it.



Pollinator Protection in the Pacific

The need to protect and conserve beneficial insects - especially pollinators - is being increasingly recognized. The Western IPM Center led the Pacific Pollinator Protection Program, a Center signature project, to help Pacific Island growers protect these valuable species.



Embracing Functional Agricultural Biodiversity to Tap into Nature's Services

Bringing natural diversity to a farm can help boost production and benefit the bottom line. The concept is called functional agricultural biodiversity, and a work group in Oregon is helping Pacific Northwest farmers and conservationists know what plants to incorporate, insects to encourage and habitat to install to maximize their natural benefits.



Hill-Climbing Cows May Bring Big Benefits to Western Rangeland and Ranchers

Conventional wisdom says cows don’t go up steep slopes. They don’t climb hills and don’t travel very far from water.

But some cows never got that memo.



New Guide Helps Land Managers Control Medusahead

As an ecosystem-transformer species, medusahead is among the worst weeds. Not only does it compete for resources with more desirable species, but it changes ecosystem function to favor its own survival at the expense of the entire ecosystem.



Citizen Scientists in Alaska Watch for Invasive Species

To expand the number of eyes watching out for exotic and invasive pests, the Alaska IPM Program recruites “Citizen Scientists” to be on the lookout for unusual insects, plants and disease organisms throughout the state.