Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hoofin' It

Sounds like hooved beasts are causing trouble in the invasive species world this week. Newswise recently posted this report about new research suggesting that horses are in part responsible for spreading non-native plants along trails in Colorado. Scientists picked through road apples and discovered that the horses were carrying a lot of alien seed in their feces. While there was no particular species that the horses are being blamed for spreading, the research does remind us that horses are potential vectors of invasive plants and should not be overlooked. Kudos to the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management for making the full paper available online for free.

Over in Wisconsin, deer hunting season is about to start, and this year hunters will be helping collect data on invasive plants. Every deer brought in to the Department of Natural Resources for registration will have its hooves checked for invasive plants. Students from Luther College in Iowa will be assisting the Wisconsin DNR in collecting the data. Here's hoping we hear back from them on their findings - they say this is the first study of its kind for white-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus, native to the US), and the results should be interesting. has the full story.

Thanks to budak for sending in a link to the horse tale. If you have an interesting invasive species story that you would like to share, send it in by clicking on the "Suggest a Post" link in the top right corner.

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