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Invasive Species Resources

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Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Recently, the health of coconut palms has come under severe threat. The Pacific Community (SPC), working with Pacific Island countries and territories, and development partners, is looking for ways to meet this threat before it devastates the hopes of economic progress in the region. In August of 2017 an alert was issued identifying a new danger to the Pacific, which is causing devastation to coconut palms and expanding rapidly across the region. The new threat comes from a longstanding adversary in the region: the rhinoceros beetle.

International Maritime Organization.

Amendments to an international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of potentially invasive species in ships' ballast water entered into force on 13 October 2019. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (the BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to address this problem. The BWM Convention entered into force in 2017. The amendments formalise an implementation schedule to ensure ships manage their ballast water to meet a specified standard ("D-2 standard") aimed at ensuring that viable organisms are not released into new sea areas, and make mandatory the Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems, which sets out how ballast water management systems used to achieve the D-2 standard have to be assessed and approved. This will help ensure that aquatic organisms and pathogens are removed or rendered harmless before the ballast water is released into a new location – and avoid the spread of invasive species as well as potentially harmful pathogens.

Delaware Department of Agriculture.
A destructive, invasive beetle that kills ash trees, the emerald ash borer (EAB), has been confirmed in Delaware, making it the 28th state to have found the insect, the Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today. Delaware will be added to a federal quarantine already in 27 other states restricting the interstate shipment of all ash wood and wood products - ash nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost and chips - as well as hardwood firewood of all species.
UNFAO. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
An insect that can infest and damage hundreds of hectares of maize fields, literally overnight, is sweeping across Asia – alarming smallholder farmers and threatening livelihoods – but the damage can be limited, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today. Fall Armyworm is native to the Americas. However, since 2016 it has been aggressively moving ever eastwards, sweeping across Africa, and making landfall for the first time in Asia last summer. Fall Armyworm (FAW) was first detected in India in July 2018 and by January of this year, it had spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China’s Yunnan Province.
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
Provides news updates and other resources
Island Conservation.
Restoring islands through the removal of non-native invasive mammals is a powerful biodiversity conservation tool. This new study now shows that human communities on islands could benefit from restoration actions, which can potentially reduce or eliminate the burden of diseases transmitted to people by invasive species. Simply put, removal of invasive species can benefit human health in addition to ecological health.

CAB International.

In response to the growing threat of invasive species, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has called for urgent action to tackle the global spread of invasive species, even as the recent fall armyworm outbreak casts doubts over Africa and Asia’s preparedness to fight the scourge. The call was made at the 2018 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali, Rwanda, by CABI’s Director General for Development, Dr Dennis Rangi. His announcement follows publication of CABI’s insights paper: Invasive Species: The hidden threat to sustainable development (PDF | 598 KB) at AGRF and this year’s launch of CABI’s Action on Invasives programme.

CAB International.

At its triennial Review Conference of Member Countries in Egham, UK, on 26-27 July, CABI launched a major new initiative to protect vulnerable rural communities in the fight against invasive alien species. Building on its 100-year track record in invasive species management, CABI will deliver a unique global programme to support 50 million vulnerable African and Asian farming families impacted by species that are out of control and threatening their livelihoods. This will link with, and build upon, the highly successful CABI-led Plantwise programme, which has already reached nearly 5 million farmers in 34 countries. Over the coming months and years, CABI will focus on tackling some of the worst alien invaders in Africa and Asia - weeds, insects and diseases that devastate crops and pastureland, as well as deplete the many natural resources on which rural communities rely.

CAB International.

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest's rapid spread across Africa in 2017.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Collaboration between Canadian governments, industry, academia and other partners in plant health is essential to protect our resources from new and emerging risks, drive innovation and ensure that Canadian industry remains competitive and sustainable. Plant health partners in Canada are pleased to announce the establishment of the Canadian Plant Health Council – fulfilling a multi-partner commitment to collaboratively implement the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada. The Canadian Plant Health Council will address priorities for the plant health sector, working together on preventive approaches and activities to protect forests, agriculture and other plants from pests, diseases and other risks.

Galapagos Conservancy.
The restoration of Pinzón Island continues following the successful rat eradication campaign in December 2012, carried out by the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), in collaboration with Island Conservation and The Raptor Center. In addition to the exciting news of natural recruitment of juvenile tortoises into the population, a potentially new endemic snail species has recently been discovered.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) today confirmed that spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Albany and Yates counties. A single adult insect was discovered in a vehicle in the Capital District. In addition, a single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan, Yates County. Anyone that suspects they have found SLF is encouraged to send a photo to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov. Please note the location of where the insect was found, egg masses, and/or infestation signs. DEC and DAM also encourage the public to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, furniture, and firewood for egg masses. Anyone that visits the Pennsylvania or New Jersey Quarantine Areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage and gear for SLF and egg masses before leaving and scrape off all egg masses.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) today announced that although freezing temperatures will kill off adult spotted lanternflies (SLF), the public is urged to stay vigilant and report overwintering egg masses. In the fall, SLF will lay their eggs on any flat surface such as vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone or other items which can be inadvertently transported to new areas. If this insect becomes established in New York, it could impact New York's forests, agricultural and tourism industries. "To date, there has not been a documented spotted lanternfly infestation in New York, but I encourage the public to stay aware and be ready to report egg masses or other signs of this insect to help prevent infestations," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Assistance from the public is crucial in limiting the movement of SLF and protecting New York's natural resources. DEC and DAM are urging the public to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, outdoor furniture and camping equipment for egg masses or insects, and report any sightings by sending photos and location information to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov. Anyone that visits locations of SLF quarantines in other states should look for and remove insects and egg masses on items before leaving those areas. For more information, please visit DEC's spotted lanternfly webpage.

Delaware Department of Agriculture.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) announced today that they expanded the spotted lanternfly quarantine to include all portions of New Castle County north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. This is due to recent detections of established populations outside of the initial quarantine zone enacted in February 2019 that included eleven zip codes. "This expansion is necessary in our attempt to eradicate, control, and prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly in Delaware and to surrounding states," said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. The spotted lanternfly is a destructive invasive plant hopper that attacks many hosts including trees, shrubs, orchards, grapes, and hops. For more detailed information regarding the quarantine, permitting, treatment, or to report a sighting of spotted lanternfly, visit the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s dedicated spotted lanternfly webpage or call the dedicated spotted lanternfly hotline at (302) 698-4632.

Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive insect from Asia that attacks and kills ash trees, has been confirmed at two new sites in Delaware: one near Middletown, New Castle County, and another near Seaford, Sussex County. Originally found in northern Delaware in 2016, the new detections create added urgency for homeowners and municipalities to determine if they have ash trees on their property and decide on possible management options. Current guidelines recommend the removal or treatment of ash trees if located within 15 miles of a known infestation. Because Delaware is geographically small and EAB can go undetected for years, residents are urged to educate themselves now and take action.
UNFAO. International Plant Protection Convention.
You cannot protect the environment without also safeguarding plant health. When plant pests and diseases spread into new areas they seriously damage entire ecosystems, putting at risk biological diversity and the environment itself. Tiny and lethal at the same time, plant pests and invasive alien species have been recently identified as the main driver of biodiversity loss. Pests are also responsible for losses of up to USD 220 billion in agricultural trade each year and the loss of 40 percent of the global food crop production. Climate change is making the situation even worse. It is changing the life cycle of pests – sometimes increasing the number of yearly generations - and creating new niches where they can thrive. For more information see the IPPC factsheet "Plant Health and Environmental Protection (PDF | 1.22 MB)".

European Alien Species Information Network.

Close to 7,000 different species are owned by pet owners across Europe, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish. Some of these pet species are imported from outside Europe and can potentially cause ecological problems if they escape or are released in the environment. The importation of some invasive alien species is prohibited (Council Regulation (EC) 338/97 (PDF | 3.78 MB)) due to their invasive character and the fact that their introduction has an adverse impact on native species. In addition, the Council of Europe has designed a voluntary code of conduct (PDF | 1.92 MB) to raise awareness within the pet industry and among owners and keepers of pets and provide practical guidance to reduce further the chances of pet species becoming invasive in Europe.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The exotic plant pest fall armyworm has been detected for the first time in Australia, in a network of surveillance traps on the northern Torres Strait islands of Saibai and Erub. Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Lyn O'Connell, said the caterpillar stage of the fall armyworm, also known as Spodoptera frugiperda, damages many crops across Africa and Asia vital to human food security, such as rice, maize and sorghum. "Everyone can do their part to protect Australia from biosecurity risks like fall armyworm by being aware of what can and cannot be brought to Australia from overseas or from the Torres Strait region and reporting any unexpected pests, plant matter or soil."

Adult moths of fall armyworm were detected in surveillance traps monitored by the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy. These traps were set up as part of preparedness activities for early detection as fall armyworm is a strong flyer and has been spreading rapidly through Southeast Asia countries in recent months. For more information, see Fall Armyworm and Other Exotic Armyworms from the Australian Department of Agriculture.

UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The ongoing spread of wheat rusts, a group of fungal plant diseases that stymy the production of the staple grain and other crops, is raising concern in Central Asia and the Middle East and sparking closer international collaboration to study, detect and prevent the threat from advancing further.