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Invasive Species Resources

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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.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved rules that will proactively protect the state from invasive species not yet established here. The new rules will add high-risk nonnative animals to the Prohibited list and clarify rule language by defining key terms. The rules also include provisions for people currently in personal or commercial possession of these species. Have questions? Contact us at NonnativeSpeciesRules@MyFWC.com, or see New Nonnative Species Rules for more information.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
More than 50 non-native species have found their way to the Galápagos Islands, over 10 times more than scientists previously thought, reports a new study in Aquatic Invasions published Thursday, March 28. The study, a joint effort of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Williams College, and the Charles Darwin Foundation, documents 53 species of introduced marine animals in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the largest marine protected areas on Earth. Before this study came out, scientists knew about only five.

International Maritime Organization.

A key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water enters into force. The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) addresses aquatic invasive alien species (IAS) by requiring all ships to implement a ballast water management plan, among other actions.
See also: Ballast Water Convention Enters into Force (Sep 12, 2017)

Government of Canada.
Grass carp, one of four species of Asian carp, has the potential to disrupt the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy unless their spread is stopped, according to a report released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada with support from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The socio-economic study concludes that, in addition to the significant ecological threat that is posed by the presence of grass carp in the Great Lakes, there would also be economic, social and cultural ripple effects. The full report can be viewed here (PDF | 1.34 MB).
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.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council; DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service; DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Habits, Attitude, and Habitat—together they comprise Habitattitude. This educational campaign with the uncommon name addresses common concerns of private enterprise, state and federal natural resource agencies, and responsible pet owners: protecting our environment from the impacts of invasive species. Habitattitude seeks to inspire and empower people to explore the connection between responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship.

See Habitattitude Prevents Pet Release in Wild (Press Release - Jun 12, 2019) announcing the re-launch of the Habitattitude educational campaign. Habitattitude’s website provides guidance for proper pet selection and care, along with sections on aquarium fish and water gardening. The new section on reptiles and amphibians addresses the variety of species and basic considerations and requirements for habitat, diet and health concerns. Another new component focuses on animals and plants in classroom education, and caring for them outside the home environment, in response to concerns about the potential for classroom pets to be released at the end of a school year.

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).

Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The Indiana Terrestrial Plant Rule (312 IAC 18-3-25) designates 44 species of plants as invasive pests. This rule makes it illegal to sell, gift, barter, exchange, distribute, transport, or introduce these plants in the State of Indiana. This rule goes into effect in two stages. As of April 18, 2019, it is illegal to introduce plant species on this list not already found in Indiana. Plant species already in trade will be prohibited from sale one year later (April 18, 2020).
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.
Montana Invasive Species Council.
Montana’s economy could see more than $230 million in annual mitigation costs and lost revenue if invasive mussels become established in the state, according to a report released by the Montana Invasive Species Council (MISC). Commissioned by MISC and completed by the University of Montana Flathead Biological Station, the economic impact study provides “a snapshot of projected direct costs to affected stakeholders dependent on water resources,” said Bryce Christiaens, MISC chair. “It does not reflect the total economic impact to the state, which would be considerably higher.” View a one-page fact sheet (PDF | 484 KB) or the full report (PDF | 4.0 MB).

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.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Wildlife Resources Division.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division confirmed someone found a northern snakehead in early October in a pond on private property in Gwinnett County, marking the first time the invasive fish has been found in the state. Fishermen who find a northern snakehead should take pictures, note where it was caught and then report it.

Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Tennessee Department of Health, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has announced the detection of the invasive Asian longhorned tick in Tennessee. The Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is no evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to humans or animals in the U.S. Two Asian longhorned ticks were recently found on a dog in Union County, and five were found on a cow in Roane County. In the U.S., the tick has been reported on 17 different mammal species.
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In May of 2018, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding of the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (otherwise known as the East Asian or Longhorned tick) in Virginia. It was previously unknown in the state, but since then has been detected in 24 counties, mostly in the western part of the state. "The tiny tick can appear on cows, horses and other livestock," said State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Broaddus. "In addition to being a nuisance, they also can be a health risk, especially to newborn or young animals." If you believe you have found the Longhorned tick, notify your local office of the Cooperative Extension Service.

University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.

Florida is a national and global hot spot for non-native, invasive species. Because researchers and land managers in Florida have been dealing with invasive species for decades, there is an abundance of resources available to the public regarding invasive species. Sometimes, the volume of available information can be confusing. There are five different primary lists of non-native plant species that are referenced in Florida: 1. The Federal Noxious Weed List, 2. The Florida Noxious Weed List, 3. The Florida Prohibited Aquatic Plant List, 4. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) Plant List, and 5. The UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants. This document aims to inform the general public, land managers, researchers, local and state policy makers, and others who seek guidance in accessing regulatory and nonregulatory non-native plant lists in the state of Florida. This publication explains the origins of the lists, meaning of inclusion on a particular list, and ways to access each of the lists.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Secretary Perdue Proclaims April as ‘Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month’
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue proclaims the month of April 2019 as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month and encourage all citizens to increase their understanding of invasive plant pests and diseases—specifically, those designated as Hungry Pests, whose destruction has great environmental, ecological, and economic impact on our Nation, states, and communities.