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Invasive Species Resources

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USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is rolling out Tellus, its new online communications platform, replacing its legacy AgResearch online magazine. ARS is committed to sharing the stories of its scientists and their successes and looks forward to informing and entertaining viewers about the many ways ARS’ revolutionary research impacts the growing world.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Along the Rio Grande in Texas, tiny insects are taking a big bite out of an invasive weed that competes for limited water resources vital to agriculture and native vegetation. Several years ago, ARS scientists released two insect species as part of a biocontrol program to kill giant reed (Arundo donax).

Entomological Society of America. Entomology Today.
Invasive insect and arthropod species make for a lot of scary headlines—think emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, and Asian longhorned tick, just to name a few. But success stories in invasive-species response are out there. They just need to be told. One of those success stories is the eradication of the European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) in northern California after it was found there in 2009. A cooperative, multipronged response effort kept infestations from running wild, and it was declared eradicated in 2016, two years after the last adult moth was caught in the region. The story of this effort is recounted, along with analysis of the invasion’s dynamics, in a study published in January in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
USDA's Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) continuously takes steps to enhance our ability to exclude, control, and eradicate pests and increase the safety of agricultural trade. Across the country, PPQ worked with the States and other partners to detect, contain, and when possible, eradicate invading pests. On the world stage, PPQ worked closely with our international trading partners to develop and promote science-based standards, helping to create a safe, fair, and predictable agricultural trade system that minimizes the spread of invasive plant pests and diseases. Learn about the many successes and accomplishments captured in the 2018 report (APHIS 81-05-021) and how PPQ is working every day to keep U.S. agriculture healthy and profitable.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Prevention is the most effective strategy in managing invasive species. However, hundreds of invasive plants and animals have already established in California and are rapidly spreading each year. These invaders are negatively impacting our waters, our native plants and animals (some of them rare, threatened, or endangered), our agriculture, our health, our economy, and our favorite recreational places. Help us celebrate California's Invasive Species Action Week, and more importantly, help stop the spread of invasive species, by volunteering to take action.
DOI. USGS. ScienceBase Catalog.
USGS has published, and plans to update on a bimonthly basis into the foreseeable future, a dataset called "Catalog of U.S. Federal Early Detection/Rapid Response Invasive Species Databases and Tools." The catalog, developed in collaboration with the National Invasive Species Council Secretariat, is a multi-sheet spreadsheet that contains openly available, online, federally supported databases and tools dealing with various aspects of a potential national early detection and rapid response invasive species framework.

DHS. Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have already intercepted a dozen significant and potentially destructive pests this year at various ports of entry in Florida as part of the agency's all-encompassing efforts to safeguard American agriculture.

Unknown pests pose a significant risk in agriculture due to a lack of knowledge in controlling the pests and the extent of damage they can cause to crops. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists recently classified eight pests discovered by CBP agriculture specialists in Florida as first-in-the-nation interceptions and another pest as a new species.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

ARS scientists in Nevada, studied ways to control cheatgrass and restore rangelands to a healthy mix of plants, which in turn reduces wildfire threats, supports wildlife, and increases sustainable grazing resources.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the latest plans to combat the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). APHIS and its partners are making steady progress towards eliminating this destructive tree pest from the United States. "We expect to complete our final tree inspections in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens by this fall, which shows we're closing in on eradication," said Josie Ryan, APHIS' ALB Eradication Program national operations manager. "But there are still quarantines in place for this beetle in these two areas, as well as in central Long Island, central Massachusetts, and southwest Ohio where we are still conducting eradication operations." "As you use wood this summer, please remember to follow the quarantine laws and buy or responsibly gather firewood where you will burn it, or use certified heat-treated firewood," continued Ryan. "We cannot eliminate this beetle without the help of residents and business owners limiting the transport of wood to help prevent the spread of ALB."
Weed Science Society of America.
The second annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month gets underway February 1st, to reinforce core principles of safe handling and use and to raise awareness of and support for the land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs). Pesticide safety is a must, whether the applicator is an unlicensed homeowner or certified in one or more of the federal or state categories of use.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

In parts of the South, there are stories about an invasive floating weed, which forms such a dense mass that it enables small animals to walk across water. This weed, called giant salvinia, is an exotic fern from South America that invades ponds, lakes, and other waterways in the United States. It damages aquatic ecosystems by outgrowing and replacing native plants that provide food and habitat for native animals and waterfowl.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are testing a naturally occurring fungus (Myrothecium spp.) against giant salvinia to help control it. Initial tests have found that the fungus stops this problematic weed from growing and even can kill it.

New York State. Governor Andew Cuomo.
Funding Supports Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control, Research, Lake Management Planning, and Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Programs. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $2.8 million in grants have been awarded to 42 projects that will reduce the negative impacts of invasive species through control or removal activities, research, and spread prevention. These grants are part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Invasive Species Grant Program and are funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund.  

State of Wyoming.

Reflecting his goal of making Wyoming a national leader in the battle against invasive species, Governor Mark Gordon announced today he has launched an initiative to address terrestrial invasive plants in the state. The initiative will be comprised of two teams -- a Policy Team and a Technical Team, each comprised of local, state and federal government representatives, private citizens representing industry and agricultural groups, as well as scientists and practitioners. The two teams will work cooperatively to develop recommendations for the Governor in the context of a large-scale strategy for invasive species management. Terrestrial invasive species represent a significant threat to Wyoming’s forests, rangelands and agricultural lands with varying levels of impact.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

Rodrigo Krugner, an entomologist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Parlier, California, has found an innovative way to control insect pests in California vineyards: tapping into the vibrational signals they use as mating calls.

Krugner’s efforts have mainly focused on glassy-winged sharpshooters, which spread a bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease in vineyards and costs the California grape industry an estimated $104 million a year. Growers use chemical sprays to control the pests, but insecticides also kill beneficial insects, leave residues, and become less effective as the insects develop resistance.

California Academy of Sciences; National Geographic Society.

iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! By recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. Experience and record nature with species identification technology by downloading the iNaturalist app (Android and iPhone) --  See Getting started:

  • Find Wildlife - it can be any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold or evidence of life found in the wild
  • Take Pictures - be sure to notice the location
  • Share Observations - upload your findings to iNaturalist

Seek by iNaturalist is an educational tool and provides a kid-friendly alternative. Seek allows you to identify plants and animals from your photos by harnessing image recognition technology, drawing from existing data collected from observations on iNaturalist (no registration is required, and no user data is collected).

National Invasive Species Council Secretariat.
Invader Detectives has been conceptualized as a national program to facilitate the detection of invasive species in urban environments. The majority of invasive species enter the country through the large commercial sea ports and airports located in our Nation’s cities. If we can rapidly detect and respond to potentially harmful non-native species at or near our borders, we can prevent them from spreading to natural areas and agricultural landscapes. Ultimately, this Contractor’s Report is intended to serve as the conceptual framework for developing and implementing Invader Detectives on a national scale through a chapter-based (regional) model. It is a living document and should not be regarded as final guidance. We welcome your input at invasive_species@ios.doi.gov. See also NISC and NISC Secretariat Products for more resources.

DOI. National Park Service.

Produced by: Biological Resources Division (BRD), Invasive Plant Program (IPP) and Denver Service Center.
The NPS is working to manage invasive species on park lands through a suite of national and local programs including the NPS Invasive Plant Program (IPP). This strategic plan sets the course for the IPP by articulating a mission, vision, goals, and actions for the next ten years with near-term goals that will be reported on and revisited annually. The plan will guide annual work planning and major projects and identify and help prioritize program funding needs and initiatives.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

Hunting for natural enemies of the red imported fire ant is paying off for Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. Their latest discovery — a new virus found in fire ants from Argentina — has the potential of becoming a biological control agent against the red imported fire ants infesting the U.S.

New Prevention Topics

USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.

Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs - Many Western states instituted watercraft inspection and decontamination programs after the discovery of invasive mussels in Lake Mead in 2007. This section provides resources on mandated watercraft inspection and decontamination programs, as well as some non-mandated but state-funded watercraft inspection efforts.

Aquatic Invasive Species Decals - Some U.S. states require that boaters purchase an aquatic invasive species decal (sometimes called a stamp, sticker, or permit) before operating watercraft in that state. Many of these regulations were instituted as a response to the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into the Western U.S. Fees from the purchase of these decals are typically used to fund local aquatic invasive species outreach and prevention activities.

Great Lakes Commission.
Aquatic invasive species inflict millions of dollars of ecological and economic damage to the Great Lakes, with impacts on coastal industries, water quality, native fish and wildlife and human health. Recently, Blue Accounting, in partnership with state and federal agencies, launched a new suite of web-based resources and tools to support early detection of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. The earlier new aquatic invasive species are detected, the easier and less expensive it is to avoid potentially devastating consequences of a large invasion. The new tools released by the Blue Accounting initiative help target efforts to focus on high-risk species and locations across the 11,000 miles of shoreline and 94,000 miles of surface area that make up the Great Lakes basin.