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Sahara Mustard, U.S. National Wildlife Preserve, even the creosote bushes are covered! View from I-10 to NE. --- How can any Endangered Species live in that solid mustard patch?"
How the Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge looked pervious to the Sahara Mustard invasion, with the magenta colored sand verbenas in the foreground and solid wild sunflowers in the background. These are the last few remaining uninfested acres, in the far corner of the refuge. Looks like the "Garden of Eden" for Endangered Species, doesn't it?
"After picture" The rest of the Coachella Valley NWR in solid mustard, in April, 2005.
The Coachella Valley Multiple Speices Habiatat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) in April, 2005 finished it's draft public comment period--and many of the thousands of acres that are now completely covered with exotic mustard, were being counted on to preserve the 30 or so Endangered Species of this valley. Now what?
The original Saharan Mustard infestation in North America, the town of Mecca, introduced in the 1920s. Notice how much smaller the plants are from all the other populations that are rapidly spreading throughout California and the Southwest?
Coachella Valley, Riverside County - September 2005 - Raw data.
Results of a 70 mph windshield survey (or whatever the local
speed limits were), of Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii):
Either not present; is present along roadsides or in medians;
or is outside of the roadside to the fence line or has moved from
the roadsides to infest adjacent land.
NS = No Sahara mustard was seen along roadside ditches; or if divided highway, also not seen in the roadside median, or in lands adjacent to the road.
RS = Road Sides were infested with Sahara mustard. MED = In divided highways, in medians.
DES = Sahara mustard has moved from the roadsides into the desert, agricultural areas, or other lands adjacent to the roadsides. FL = Only found along the highway cyclone-fence line, but is far enough off the roadside to pose an immediate problem for the lands adjacent to the fences. At the time of the survey, did not appear to be moving off the fence line yet.
BT = Brassica tournefortii or Sahara Mustard
PM = Post miles along highways, and numbers indicate the
averages found not just at each post mile, but for 1/2 mile on
either side of the post mile marker.
(Landmarks and other notes on other exotics or native plants will be in parentheses)
Data, still in progress.
Updated September 7, 2005