Purple Loosestrife Eradication
Purple loosestrife is a beautiful wetland plant that was brought from Europe by gardeners in the 1800's and established itself in Wisconsin in the 1930's. With no predators to keep it in check it quickly became invasive, pushing out native plant species to become the only show in town.
Enter the galerucella beetle.
This little guy loves to eat purple loosestrife and only purple loosestrife. With his help we are able to bring the plant under control and allow native vegetation a chance to flourish once more.
The Club is working with students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Boy Scouts of America to raise and release hundreds of these beetles in Terrell's Island over the summer. The wetlands appreciate their efforts and so do we.
U.W.O Students Dig Terrell's Island.
Nearly 200 students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Biology 104 class worked to unearth 90 purple loosestrife plants. They donned swampers and dove in with enthusiasm after the invasive plant.
Biology Professor Robert Stelzer calls Terrell’s Island a “living laboratory” and uses the land to “discuss important themes such as ecosystem functions performed by wetlands, invasive species, and wetland restoration.” The trip is something that the students look forward to all semester and they generally have fun with it. “The vast majority of students in Biology 104 have never visited a wetland as large and relatively undisturbed as Terrell’s Island.” he said.
The plants will be used to raise Galerucella Beetles for release this July in partnership with the Boy Scouts.
Thank you to UWO and the Boy Scouts for their assistance with this project!