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Home / Resources by Subject / Early Detection and Rapid Response

Early Detection and Rapid Response

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Provides general resources for detection methods for invasive species and coordinated responses to these threats. Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) can stop the spread of new and emerging invasive species before they become established. It is one of the most cost-effective and ecologically viable methods for controlling invasive species and is well worth the effort to protect natural and agricultural resources.

See also:


Spotlights

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies. Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

The fiscal year 2021 project list includes 29 projects funded through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The NCPN helps our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure that pathogen-free, disease-free and pest-free certified planting materials for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses are available to U.S. specialty crop producers. In FY 2021, funded projects include, among others:

  • Asian giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $944,116 in Washington and other states;
  • Exotic fruit fly survey and detection: $5,575,000 in Florida and California;
  • Agriculture detector dog teams: $4,287,097 to programs in California, Florida, and nationally to support detector dog teams;
  • Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,337,819 to protect honey bees, bumble bees and other important pollinators from harmful pests;
  • Phytophthora ramorum (sudden oak death pathogen) and related species: $513,497 in 14 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach;

USDA will use $14 million to rapidly respond to invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence be found in the United States. Learn more about the Plant Protection Act, Section 7721 on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.

DOI. United States Geological Survey.

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels are an immediate threat to Western states. With no controls, they spread rapidly, foul boats and equipment, clog water intake, and increase costs to hydropower operations and municipal water utilities. Even dead mussels can be a nuisance, littering beaches with shells. Management of these invaders is expensive; in the Great Lakes, managing mussels costs about $500 million annually. Until 2007, the mussels were limited to waterways and lakes east of the Mississippi, but now they have spread westward. In 2016, quagga mussels were found in Lake Powell.

Unfortunately, there are no foolproof existing technologies or treatments to eradicate established mussel populations in large, open water systems in an environmentally sound manner. Early warning, however, helps us prepare before the mussels or other invasive species arrive.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

A unique program run by the Agricultural Research Service in Fort Pierce, FL, uses specially trained dogs to detect citrus greening in orchards. The canine-detection method has an accuracy rate of 99 percent.

Ecological Society of America.

ESA was pleased to welcome an esteemed panel to discuss a short history of policy and responses to previous invasive species on May 21st. The speakers discussed pathogens and how ecological research can inform policy and contribute knowledge to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.

United States Department of the Interior.

The Administration announced a new interagency conservation agreement to protect western water supplies, power generation, outdoor recreation and aquatic ecosystems by strengthening efforts to combat invasive mussels.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and six Department of the Interior bureaus focuses on boosting federal coordination, communication and collaboration to enhance the capacity of federal, state and tribal agencies to rapidly respond to discoveries of invasive mussels in western states.

Western Governors' Association.

The Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign of the Western Governors’ Association seeks to encourage national, state, and local land managers, private landowners, and non-governmental organizations to enter previously unavailable data into new or existing invasive species data management platforms using recommendations (May 2018; PDF | 244 KB) developed by WGA and invasive species data experts. WGA and the North American Invasive Species Management Association launched the campaign in December, 2020 with a webinar featured representatives from the four existing data platforms -- EDDMapS, iMapInvasives, BISON, and USGS NAS -- discussing the importance of invasive species data standardization and sharing.

North Carolina State University. Extension.

Learn about some of the common species of wasps, bees and other non-wasp species, such as hover flies and robber flies, that superficially resemble the Asian giant hornet.

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.
Note:Version 2 was updated May 20, 2020.

USDA. Forest Service.

In partnership with USDA Forest Service, Wildlife Forever recently unveiled a new Clean Drain Dry Rapid Response Communication Kit (PDF | 4.4 MB) to help communities with invasive species. Informing the public is critical in slowing the spread. The readymade communication tools are designed for immediate distribution or can be customized to local needs. Prevention is still the best way to slow the spread and this Rapid Response Kit is designed to do this in two ways:

  • Send out an urgent warning that a local lake has been infested with a specific Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Educate the affected public as to what they can – and should – do to help prevent further spread of the species
United States Department of the Interior.
In response to the harmful impacts invasive species have on the Nation’s natural and cultural resources, the Department of the Interior released an interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response. The report proposes to stop their spread through early detection and rapid response (EDRR) actions—a coordinated set of actions to find and eradicate potential invasive species before they spread and cause harm. View the full press release: Interior Department Announces Framework to Safeguard the Nation's Lands and Waters from Invasive Species (Feb 18, 2016)

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Based on years of experience and the latest science, APHIS developed a list of 59 pests and diseases that could pose a significant risk to U.S. food and agriculture resources. The list is not meant to be all-encompassing, but rather focus on the most impactful pests and diseases. USDA's goal remains to keep the U.S. free of these foreign pests and diseases.

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was charged with implementing Section 10007 initially part of the 2014 Farm Bill to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment. Under the Farm Bill, APHIS provides funding to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, while working to safeguard the nursery production system.

For more information, see APHIS Programs that Receive Farm Bill Funds and  Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721.

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).

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The Pest Detection program supports APHIS’ goal of safeguarding U.S. agricultural and environmental resources by ensuring that new introductions of harmful plant pests and diseases are detected as soon as possible, before they have a chance to cause significant damage. A strong domestic agricultural pest detection system is an essential element in providing a continuum of checks from offshore preclearance programs, domestic port inspections, and surveys in rural and urban sites across the United States.

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

The mission of PPQ's Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) Program is to detect and prevent the unlawful entry and distribution of prohibited and/or non-compliant products that may harbor exotic plant and animal pests, disease or invasive species.

Help Report Agricultural Smuggling
If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline or by sending email.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Early Detection and Rapid Response

Council or Task Force

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Pests looking to make their homes in Washington’s urban forests may now face a stronger defense, thanks to a new resource released this this month by the state’s Invasive Species Council. The Washington State Urban Forest Pest Readiness Playbook, published in partnership with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), contains guidelines that towns, cities, counties and urban forestry programs can follow to address the threat of forest pests, which are estimated to cost local governments across the country an estimated $1.7 billion each year. The playbook contains self-assessments and recommended actions that communities can use to prepare for pest outbreaks. Support and funding for this effort came from 2018 Farm Bill Section 10007 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine.

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.

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

We need your help! If you think you have found an invasive species in Washington, please let us know by reporting it.

Partnership

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Native to Asia, the spotted lanternfly has quickly spread since its initial detection in 2014. The insect is not a strong flier, yet its U.S. range is expanding, mostly due to the movement of vehicles, outdoor furniture, or other objects to which females glue their inconspicuous egg masses. Includes ID aids to help identify the spotted lanternfly in all its life stages, from egg mass through adult.

International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This report offers recommendations to improve biosecurity measures at U.S. ports, as well as a possible funding mechanism based upon the polluter-pays principle.

Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.
Rapid response actions are often complex, costly, and controversial, and therefore advanced planning for rapid response prior to an introduction is crucial. The Mississippi River Basin Panel on AIS (MRBP) has developed this model rapid response plan and supplemental attachments to assist natural resources management agencies effectively plan and quickly implement rapid response actions. In addition to providing information on rapid response planning, the model plan includes a template that can be used by states in developing their own rapid response plans. See also: MRBP Documents for more resources.

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Center staff design and publish comprehensive mobile applications that engage users with invasive species, forest health, natural resource and agricultural management. Previous apps were designed for specific areas of the U.S. Two new apps were recently developed for reporting throughout the U.S.:

  • EDDMapS app  - the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System app will allow invasive species reports to be submitted from a smartphone while outdoors. Anyone can report an invasive species sighting, submit photos, provide sighting details, and document a negative survey. In addition to its reporting function, the app contains information on the top invasive species including common names, scientific names, general descriptions, habitats, and reference photos to aid with identification.
  • EDDMapS Pro app - designed for professionals; includes the ability to download offline map data if users are going to be in areas where internet coverage may not be available.

National Plant Diagnostic Network.

First Detector, a program of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), equips a nationwide network of individuals to rapidly detect and report the presence of invasive, exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, nematodes, and weeds. If you suspect the presence of a high-impact plant pest or pathogen, contact a diagnostician and submit a sample for diagnosis.

Upper Columbia Conservation Commission; Montana Invasive Species Council.

Reporting suspect and/or invasive species is very important! In Montana, where you report invasive species depends on what kind of plant or animal they are, so that the correct agency can respond to your report.

National Plant Diagnostic Network.

NPDN is a national network of diagnostic laboratories that rapidly and accurately detect and report pathogens that cause plant diseases of national interest, particularly those that could be deemed to be a biosecurity risk. The specific purpose of the NPDN is to provide a cohesive, distributed system to quickly detect and identify pests and pathogens of concern.

Pacific Biosecurity; Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme; Pacific Community.

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Aquatic Invasive Species Network.
Federal Government
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.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

APHIS created the webpage to make it easier for its customers to find critical information on pests and diseases of concern. With this tool, members of the public will have the information they need to report pests and diseases and together we can protect America’s agriculture and natural resources. This page lists all pest and disease programs managed by APHIS as part of its mission to protect American agriculture and natural resources. Users can search by type (plant, animal), keyword (avian, fruit fly, cotton), or by the specific pest or disease (coconut rhinoceros beetle, brucellosis). You can also scroll through the page, which lists the pests and diseases alphabetically and includes a corresponding image.  

DOI. United States Geological Survey.
While invasive species prevention is the first line of defense, even the best prevention efforts will not stop all invasive species. Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is defined as a coordinated set of actions to find and eradicate potential invasive species in a specific location before they spread and cause harm. USGS activities that support EDRR span the geography of the country and address organisms and pathways most appropriate to address the needs of our partners. USGS provides scientific support to DOI Bureaus and other partners to aid in implementation of EDRR efforts and inform management actions.
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5162. The NPS I&M Program, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Status and Trends Program, compiled this document to provide guidance and insight to parks and other natural areas engaged in developing early-detection monitoring protocols for invasive plants. While several rapid response frameworks exist, there is no consistent or comprehensive guidance informing the active detection of nonnative plants early in the invasion process. Early-detection was selected as a primary focus for invasive-species monitoring because, along with rapid response, it is a key strategy for successful management of invasive species.
USDA. ARS. Office of Pest Management.
These recovery plans are a cooperative effort of university, industry, and government scientists. The plans outline what the scientists know about the disease, indicate the current preparedness, suggest the best IPM approach, and recommend priority research and education needs.

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

State Plant Health Directors (SPHD) direct federal APHIS-PPQ pest detection and regulatory activities in cooperation with state officials. SPHDs coordinate the initial PPQ emergency response if an exotic pest is detected in the state.

To report a pest or disease, contact your local APHIS office or call USDA Customer Service toll free at 1-844-820-2234 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern).

International Government
European Environment Agency.
Invasive alien species (IAS) have become a major driver of biodiversity loss, second only to habitat fragmentation in recent decade. Europe is particularly affected by alien species, which are invading the continent an unprecedented pace. Their impact means that many of the region's rarest endemic species are on the brink of extinction and that our well-being and economies are affected. Establishing an early warning and rapid response framework for Europe become a key target. The present publication is the EEA contribution to achieving this goal.
Academic
Michigan State University. Integrated Pest Management Program.
Provides information about exotic plant pests with the highest potential to enter Michigan. These likely invaders are presented in fact sheets with descriptions of their biology and how to identify them. Risk maps forecast locations where invasives are likely to establish.