The Texas Gulf coast is host to a number of exotic species that you may be familiar with, some of the most notorious and invasive of these being fire ants, grass carp, nutria, hydrilla, water hyacinth, and Chinese tallow trees. A more recent invader that has the potential to be as damaging as Chinese tallow is Brazilian peppertree, which was discovered less than ten years ago on Galveston Island.
Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Brazilian peppertree is a non-native, invasive plant species that was brought to Texas as an ornamental plant and is considered one of the greatest threats to native biodiversity. This opportunistic species quickly forms dense thickets, shading out native vegetation and drastically affecting plant and animal communities.
The Galveston Bay Foundation has been actively working to eradicate Brazilian peppertree from Galveston Island and the surrounding areas since 2005. Control work has been conducted in several phases and areas on Galveston Island—the I-45 corridor, Sweetwater Preserve, Galveston Island Municipal Golf Course, Scholes Airport, Corps Woods, Ten Mile Road, Pelican Island, and 17 private residential properties where permission was given by the landowners. Following control work, GBF continues to monitor the treated areas and re-treat new growth. We ask that if you see Brazilian peppertree growing on your property or anywhere on Galveston Island, please contact Matt Singer, GBF’s Land Stewardship Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281.332.3381 x206.
As part of this project, GBF produced a one-page fact sheet, “Brazilian Pepper Tree on Galveston Island: The Next Chinese Tallow?,” available in our Publications. For more information on Brazilian peppertree, see “The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area,” available from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.
Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera)
GBF works to control Chinese tallow on our conservation properties, most recently on our 166.8-acre Rich Sanctuary preserve on Trinity Bay near Anahuac. Funding and technical assistance for this project was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Texas Coastal Program. For more information on Chinese tallow, see “The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area,” available from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.
Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
In April 2002, GBF compiled and published a literature survey of articles and technical papers relating to the policy, biology, and management of grass carp. GBF also produced a four-page fact sheet, “Grass Carp in Galveston Bay: What You Need to Know About this Exotic and Invasive Species,” available in our Publications. Both the literature survey and fact sheet were produced with funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the GLO Coastal Management Program.