Be on the lookout for Invasive Species
By Amy Rager, Extension Educator and Program Director, Minnesota Master Naturalist
What is considered an invasive species? Any species that is non-native to the ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. These non-native species aggressively compete with and displace the associated flora and fauna communities.
What can I do about this problem?
- Education yourself on known invasive species in your area
- Never plant, transmit, spread, or release invasive species
- Report invasive species to EDDMapS
What is EDDMapS?
EDDmapS (Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System) is an app for your mobile device and computer that allows real time tracking of invasive species occurrences. The app provides local and national distribution maps for each reported occurrence. Citizen are providing early detection by using electronic reporting tools. Forty U.S. States and Four Canadian Provinces have active EDDMapS programs. EDDMapS has national support from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Occurrences are cataloged and documented, creating a library of identification and management information to be used by professionals. Agencies, organizations and citizens can access the information in EDDmapS, to locate species, and implement proper control methods.
EDDMapS accounts and using the data is free to everyone.
How do I use it?
Begin by downloading the Great Lakes Early Detection Network App (GLEDN). This app is the localized version for Minnesota. Once you have the app downloaded, you can start taking pictures and using your smart phone to report invasive species. Detailed instructions available here.
Data is available for you to view in many formats. Data is verified by agency professionals. Below is an example of the brown marmorated stink bug data available in EDDmapS.