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.
Our species-specific information now has its own subpage here!
You can report your sightings to EDDMapS! EDDMapS 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. You can report species either through the EDDMapS website or the EDDMapS app (available for iOS and Android - just search your app store for EDDMapS). The EDDMapS homepage can also connect you to training materials, distribution maps, and more.
You can also report sighting to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) is a regional data aggregation effort to develop and provide an early detection and response (EDR) resource for invasive species in the Midwest region of the United States. This effort is led by researchers with the Michigan State University Department of Entomology Laboratory for Applied Spatial Ecology and Technical Services in conjunction with a growing consortium of supporting partners. The goal of this regional resource is to assist both experts and citizen scientists in the detection and identification of invasive species. Report an invasive species to MISIN.
The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) information resource for the United States Geographical Survey (USGS) is a central repository for spacially referenced biogeographic reports of introduced (non-native) aquatic species. The program provides scientific reports, online/real time queries, spatial data sets, distribution maps, and general information. The data are made available for use by biologists, interagency groups, and the general public. Report an aquatic invasive species sighting here.
To look up the current locations where invasive species have been reported visit EDDMaps or MISIN. Note MISIN primarily houses data reports from Michigan.
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 works with The Morton Arboretum and the Ohio Invasive Plants Council to help gardens better organize and share information about potentially invasive plants. Find more details about this project here.
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 and offers frequent trainings.
New Invaders Watch Training Program - Learn about invasive plants and forest pests that are new to Illinois and how to get involved in monitoring and reporting them.
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.