Wildlife Habitat

Invasive Species

Invasive species are non-native plants that require special management due to their ability to spread easily and rapidly, often to the detriment of native and less vigorous plant species. Invasive species pose a risk to wildlife habitat by overcrowding and outcompeting established vegetation, growing densely such that wildlife cannot travel through or make use of the area, and threatening the ability of creeks, wetlands and uplands to maintain stable banks, flood areas, or terrain. Strategic removal of invasive species with the appropriate methods, (ie. Hand pulling, herbicide application, burning, etc.) can protect these ecosystems.

Species of Concern in the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

Gorse (Ulex europaeus)


Purple Star Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)


Woolly Distaff Thistle (Carthamas lanatus)

Tips for Managing Weeds on Your Land

Weed management varies with the species, site, season and severity of the infestation. But there are common strategies that can be used to manage weeds on rangeland or wild land, no matter the place or plant.
  1. Prevention: Seeds can hitch rides in infested hay bales, soil, animal fur, hooves, manure, waterways, vehicles, roads, clothing and shoes, to name just a few. Take steps to avoid accidentally importing weed seeds.
  2. Early detection and rapid response (EDRR): Catching weeds early offers the best chance for eradication with minimal cost.
  3. Control: Control becomes necessary once weeds have become established and widespread. Eradication becomes unlikely, control efforts become more costly, and a long-term management plan is required.
  4. Restoration: Restoration is expensive and typically requires outside help and expertise.
  5. (Source: MALT)

Native Plant Nurseries

North Coast Native Nursery, PO Box 660 Petaluma, CA, 94953, 707.769.1213

Buckeye Nursery, 2425 Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA, 94954, 707.559.7081

California Flora Nursery, 2990 Somers Street, Fulton, CA 95439, 707.528.8813

Related links:

Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN)

Bay Friendly Coalition

Cal WeedMapper
CDFA Noxious Weeds

CDFA Noxious Weeds Photographic Gallery

Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands

Marin County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures

National Invasive Species Council

The Impact of Invasive Plants

The Economic Impact of Invasive Plants

UC Weed Research and Information Center

Invasive Plants Fact Sheets:

Purple/Iberian Starthistle

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