Invasive Exotic Plants

Lehmann lovegrass in the Chihuahuan Desert
Lehmann lovegrass is an invasive exotic grass that displaces native plants.

NPS Photo


Invasive exotic plants represent one of the most serious threats to natural resources in national parks. They can reproduce in great numbers, rapidly colonize new areas, displace native species, and alter ecosystem processes across multiple scales. Established invasive exotic plants may exist in small populations for long periods, making them difficult to detect. If discovered in the early stages of colonization, control efforts are likely to cost less and be more successful than after a species has become more widespread.

It is critical to both detect exotic plants early and to implement a rapid management response. Early detection monitoring for invasive exotic plants gives park managers the information they need to prioritize and plan for their control when eradication is most effective, economical, and ecologically sound. This knowledge can also support long-term ecosystem-wide strategies for controlling invasive exotic plants.

Invasive exotic plant monitoring on a roadside
Roads can facilitate the spread of invasive exotic plants.

NPS Photo

What We Monitor

  • New detections of invasive exotic plants
  • Status and trends in known invasive exotic plant populations: presence, density, and distribution

Where We Monitor

  • Amistad National Recreation Area
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park


Read more about our invasive exotic plant work in the resource briefs (short summaries), monitoring reports (detailed results of our work), or protocol (monitoring procedures) below.

Invasive Exotic Plant Resource Briefs

Source: Data Store Collection 7818. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Invasive Exotic Plant Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3426. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Invasive Exotic Plant Monitoring Protocol

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2310. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Exotic Plant Monitoring Project

This is a collection of reports, data, and other documents related to exotic plant monitoring.

Last updated: August 6, 2020