Tamarisk Beetle Monitoring Program

Tamarisk beetles became a part of riparian (riverside) ecosystems in the West shortly after their introduction by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2001 and quickly expanded their range. A need to monitor this beetle expansion and provide information on the movement and distribution to land managers was recognized. 
As a result, RiversEdge West formed the Tamarisk Beetle Monitoring Program in 2007 and has been striving to connect land managers with information on the tamarisk beetle and its potential impacts ever since.
Today, RiversEdge West works with existing partners and seeks to develop new partnerships to monitor beetle populations and provide current maps to land managers and the public.
Take Part in Monitoring the Tamarisk Beetle!
The how-to video below outlines how anyone can participate in RiversEdge West's tamarisk beetle monitoring program, which tracks the tamarisk beetle's distribution (via presence/absence monitoring).

RiversEdge West does not participate in releasing beetles, but rather endeavors to monitor and educate people about their distribution and impacts across the West.
Tamarisk Beetle Monitoring Program Goals:
  • Monitor tamarisk beetle presence/absence expansion across the West, working with partners to coordinate data collection, providing training on protocols and housing data in an online database.
  • Identify information needs of land managers and work with the research community to fill these gaps and provide useful information on the real world effects of tamarisk beetle presence for incorporation into long-term land management and restoration plans.
  • Create worthwhile restoration solutions, compiling data from applied research to provide land managers with novel approaches and strategies for restoration in areas affected by the beetle.
  • Conduct presentations and outreach to further the development of both the monitoring and restoration solutions components of the tamarisk leaf beetle monitoring program, and raise general public awareness of the beetle and its impacts to river ecosystems.
Monitoring Protocols:
RiversEdge West worked with partners, namely the Colorado Department of Agriculture Palisade Insectary and University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute, to develop a rapid assessment protocol to determine presence or absence of the beetle and began tracking these data, providing an updated map annually. The monitoring protocols are being continually modified and improved and provided to our partners for their use. Currently, we work with 35 different partners to map the movement of tamarisk leaf beetle populations. Their range now expands from northern Mexico, below El Paso, north into Kansas, across the Colorado River basin, and into California. The beetle can be found in every state in the southwestern U.S. and has established populations in at least ten states.

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.



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