Kern River Valley Invasive Species Information

Prevent and/or work to eradicate these pests... keep the South Fork native!

Staff and volunteers of the Kern River Preserve have spent over a decade fighting invasive species. These efforts have paid off with one of the most native forests in western North America.

Each year staff of the Kern River Preserve, volunteers, and the California Department of Fish & Game spent time eradicating purple loosestrife and perennial pepperweed from Sprague Ranch and nearby South Fork lands.

Each of us can help prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals. You can help by learning which species can become invasive and eradicate these from your own yards. Help to educate your local nurseries about the problem with invasives and get them to stop selling problem plants. Contact your legislator and local agriculture commissioner to make sure no invasives are sold or promoted in your county or town.     

The following list contains invasive plants that can threaten ecosystems of the Kern River Valley.

tree-of-heaven - Ailanthus altissima
giant cane - Arundo donax
Australian saltbush - Atriplex semibaccata
bassia - Bassia hyssopifolia
Sahara mustard - Brassica tournefortii
red brome - Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens
cheatgrass - Bromus tectorum
lens-podded hoary cress - Cardaria chalepensis
white top - Cardaria draba
Italian thistle - Carduus pycnocephalus
tocolote - Centaurea melitensis
yellow starthistle - Centaurea solstitialis

Canada thistle - Cirsium arvense
bull thistle - Cirsium vulgare
poison hemlock - Conium maculatum

artichoke thistle - Cynara cardunculus
Scotch broom - Cytisus scoparius
water hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Russian olive - Elaeagnus angustifolia
edible fig - Ficus carica
fennel - Foeniculum vulgare
French broom - Genista monspessulana
perennial pepperweed - Lepidium latifolium    
purple loosestrife - Lythrum salicaria
fountain grass- Pennisetum setaceum
Harding grass - Phalaris aquatica
castor bean - Ricinus communis

black locust - Robinia pseudoacacia
Himalayan blackberry - Rubus discolor
Mediterranean grass - Schismus arabicus
Spanish broom - Spartium junceum
medusahead  - Taeniatherum caput-medusae
smallflower tamarisk - Tamarix parviflora
saltcedar - Tamarix ramosissima
wooly mullein - Verbascum thapsus
periwinkle -Vinca major

Invasive Animals


goldfish - Carassius auratus  

common carp - Cyprinus carpio

brown trout - Salmo trutta  

brook trout - Salvelinus fontinalis  

white bass - Morone chrysops  


American Bullfrog - Rana catesbeiana    

Tiger Salamander - Ambystoma tigrinum  


Red-eared Slider - Trachemys scripta elegans  

Yellowbelly Slider - Trachemys scripta scripta    

Texas Tortoise - Gopherus berlandieri  


Rock Pigeon - Columba livia  

Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto  

European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris  

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus  


Red fox - Vulpes vulpes

Feral dog - Canis familiaris

Feral cat - Felis catus 

Wild pig - Sus scrofa

Domestic goat - Ovis aries

Fox squirrel - Sciurus niger

Black rat - Rattus rattus*

House mouse - Mus musculus

European rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus

How you can help, right now