What is Early Detection and Rapid Response?

Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) are practices that enable land managers to identify new and spreading invasive species quickly, and to enact control quickly, before the species population grows to the point where it cannot be locally eradicated. 

The graph below shows the typical pattern of invasive species population growth over time. Unfortunately, historically society has not done a great job of realizing when species are becoming invasive, and most people are not aware of a problem until the invasive population is so large that it is impossible to eradicate. The best managers can hope for at that point is to control the population sizes to reduce impacts. Examples of ubiquitous invasive species whose populations are at the right (red) side of the curve include Asian bush honeysuckles (Lonicera sp.) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). The goal of EDRR practices is to notice invasive species problems earlier, towards the left (green) side of the curve, and to take control actions when populations are still relatively small and eradication is feasible.


Midwest Early Detection Species Information

Our species-specific information now has its own subpage here!


You can help with EDRR!

Please report all invasive plant sightings to EDDMapS MidwestEDDMapS stands for Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System. It is a web-based citizen science tool that allows people to report and map the invasive plants they are seeing in their area, and to have those reports verified by local experts. EDDMapS Midwest is connected to the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) mobile app for iOS and Android (just search your app store for GLEDN). Reporting what you see in the field has never been easier!


For more information on GLEDN, check out:

PDF GLEDN App Guide (Wisconsin First Detector's Network & UW Extension)

GLEDN App Tutorial Videos (Wisconsin First Detector's Network & UW Extension)

EDDMapS Midwest Website Training Webinar (Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health)

GLEDN App Tutorial Webinar (Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health)


Public Gardens and EDRR

Public gardens and arboreta have a unique role to play in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. As living collections of plants from around the world, these institutions are often the first to acquire new exotic plants and bring them to the United States. With expert staff and dedicated volunteers, public gardens are also in a unique position to be able to observe and record instances of new plants spreading and showing invasive potential. As a continuation of our "Invasive Plants in Trade" work with the horticulture industry, MIPN worked with The Morton Arboretum and the Ohio Invasive Plants Council to hold a recent summit meeting of public gardens to discuss how gardens can better organize and share information about potentially invasive plants. Find more details about this project here.


Other EDRR Resources:

Interactive Weed Identification Database - Created by Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin, the database contains 280 of the most common weeds/invasive plants found in agricultural, urban, and natural settings in Wisconsin. The database will lead you through questions about the unknown plant, and, based on the user's input, will produce a list of possible ID's with photos.

Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) - WIFDN is an EDRR organization which encourages volunteerism and citizen science, offers frequent trainings, and even has a monthly GLEDN app challenge.

New Invaders Watch Program (NIWP) NIWP is an EDRR network of volunteers and organizations that work together to identify, map, and control new invasive plants in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana.

United States Department of Interior's EDRR Webpage

United States Forest Service's EDRR Webpage - includes training videos

North American Invasive Species Management Association EDRR Webpage - This website lists several resources related to EDRR, including strategies and frameworks.

North American Invasive Species Management Association Mapping Standards - If invasive species monitors in different organizations and regions use common mapping standards, they can more easily share data with each other. This site includes NAISMA's most recent mapping standards recommended for broad adoption, developed in 2014.

The National Institute of Invasive Species Science is a consortium of government and non-government organizations formed to develop cooperative approaches for invasive species science that meet the urgent needs of land managers and the public. Field data on aquatic and terrestrial species and diseases can be collected in any form and uploaded. These datasets are integrated into the database and displayed as "living maps" of harmful invaders on the Web to serve land managers, landowners, researchers, government officials, and the public.