Buffelgrass is an invasive species that was introduced from Africa in the 1930’s as a forage grass. The dense growth supports hot fires that can kill saguaros and key plants of the Sonoran Desert, as well as threatening homes and businesses. Unfortunately, this weed grows and spreads even more rapidly after a fire. It has no natural enemies in the Sonoran Desert; it spreads aggressively and displaces native plants by out-competing them for water, nutrients, and space. Animals, like mule deer and Sonoran Desert tortoises, that depend on native plant species are also threatened by the spread of this species.
WHY CARE ABOUT BUFFELGRASS?
- Buffelgrass is a non-native, invasive species that is spreading rapidly across southern Arizona.
- Buffelgrass poses a serious fire risk to homes and businesses and threatens to irrevocably alter our Sonoran Desert.
- Buffelgrass stands can burn at over 1,400 degrees - nearly three times hotter than fires generated by native vegetation.
- Buffelgrass fires are can kill saguaros and desert tortoise and eliminate their habitat.
- Neither fire nor mowing are effective in controlling buffelgrass -it actually grows back more vigorously.
- Over the past five years, the buffelgrass invasion in the Southwest has been the subject of considerable outreach, extensive media coverage and nearly-unanimous consensus over the need to aggressively control this invader grass in natural areas and around homes and businesses.