Arundo Mapping

Jason Giessow, DENDRA Inc., collecting cane density information for an Arundo infestation on a Tehama County waterway in the Central Valley: Photo Dana Morawitz

Arundo donax, or giant reed, is one of the most damaging invasive plants in California. Its dense canes crowd riparian areas, destroying wildlife habitat and consuming extra water. Major removal projects have been undertaken in many coastal watersheds, including the Santa Ana River in southern California, and the Salinas River on the central coast. In 2008-2010, Cal-IPC undertook mapping Arundo in coastal watersheds from Mexico to Monterey to support removal efforts.

As part of Proposition 1 funding to enhance stream flow, the California Wildlife Conservation Board funded Cal-IPC to map Arundo over another heavily impacted region, the Central Valley. We have produced a detailed GIS dataset and maps of Arundo infestations using aerial imagery, assessed impacts to water, geomorphology, fire and sensitive species in a project report, and helped regional partners to get set up to undertake removal projects with future funding.


Download the Project Report  and associated data


Plants being managed

Start date



Central Valley

Resources protected

Stream flows and riparian wildlife habitat.

Project goal

Our goal is to fully map Arundo donax across the Central Valley as essential preparation for future removal projects.

Project photos

Close up map of Stony Creek as it enters the Sacramento River. Red areas indicate Arundo sightings.
Preparing to sample cane density and leaf area in Tehama County. Photo: Dana Morawitz
Preparing to sample cane density and leaf area in Tehama County. Photo: Dana Morawitz
An Arundo infestation on the Sacramento River. Photo: Dana Morawitz
Map of Arundo distribution (per GIS dataset).