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White Sands National Park Nonnative Species

The oryx, or gemsbok, a large African antelope, has had a large impact on White Sands National Monument, primarily due to its reproductive success and feeding habits.

Tamarix, or salt cedar, is an invading species of plant that is established in all but the driest sites of the Monument. Eight species of Tamarix were first brought to North America in the 1800s from southern Europe or the eastern Mediterranean region.

Other nonnative species include:

Russian thistle (tumbleweed)

African Rue - First introduced near Deming, N.M., in the 1920s. It has since spread from Texas to Washington.

Malta (yellow) starthistle - First introduced into California in the early 1900s, it has spread from the Arizona-New Mexico border to White Sands National Monument in less than 5 years.

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