Invasive Species Program

Early Detection and Rapid Response

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. In certain cases, USGS leads multi-agency / partner rapid response efforts where specific skill sets are required.

Filter Total Items: 13
Date published: August 6, 2019
Status: Completed

Treasure Coast and Central Florida Fish Slams- 2019

In March and June 2019, USGS researchers joined partners in Treasure Coast and Central Florida where they sampled freshwater bodies for non-native fishes. The bi-annual Fish Slam event helps monitor new introductions and document range expansion of known non-native fishes. 

Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

Date published: September 27, 2018
Status: Completed

Early Detection Monitoring May Not Be Sufficient for Invasive Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

The ecological and economic costs of an invasive quagga or zebra mussel infestation in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. would be significant. The development of invasive mussel monitoring programs in the Pacific Northwest provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a regional invasive species detection effort early in its development. Although efforts are underway to monitor for the presence of...

Contacts: Timothy Counihan, Stephen M. Bollens
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Databases, Models, and Decision Support Tools

Today's natural resource managers must make effective decisions about broad-scale ecosystem processes occurring across the landscape, with complex interactions, numerous competing stakeholder demands, and highly uncertain outcomes. USGS scientists are applying tools from decision science such as structured decision making, adaptive management, and modeling that examines the outcome of a...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Rapid Response Teams

The USGS Brown Treesnake Rapid Response Team was established to help prevent the spread of invasive Brown Treesnakes through screening, risk assessment, outreach, and training for field response efforts.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Strategic Planning

The USGS provides science for Department of the Interior bureaus and other decision makers with vital information that they need to fulfill their mission. The diversity of USGS scientific expertise enables the bureau to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers and planners. Scientific coordination and...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Species Tools

Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to effectively manage invasive species. In addition to standard means of monitoring, the USGS is developing new tools, particularly molecular techniques, to assist in the early detection of invasive species.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: January 31, 2018
Status: Active

Pathways for Movement and Rate of Spread of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death on the Island of Hawai‘i

Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is an emerging and rapidly spreading disease of ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha), a keystone native forest tree in the Hawaiian Islands. The disease is highly pathogenic in native ‘ōhi‘a and can lead to significant mortality once symptoms become evident. This emerging pathogen is a significant threat to native forests throughout the state because of its...

Date published: October 22, 2017
Status: Active

Asian Carp Integrated Control and Containment

Increased threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes and spreading to other basins such as the Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River basins, has led to increased prevention and control efforts since 2010.  Successful management of invasive species requires methods to contain future spread, reduce population levels, and minimize their effects.  In collaboration with partners, USGS...

Contacts: Jon Hortness
Date published: August 5, 2016
Status: Active

Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is organismal DNA that can be found in the environment. Environmental DNA originates from cellular material shed by organisms (via skin, excrement, etc.) into aquatic or terrestrial environments that can be sampled and monitored using new molecular methods. Such methodology is important for the early detection of invasive species as well as the detection of rare and...

Date published: July 4, 2016
Status: Active

Developing Ecological Forecasting Models for Invasive Species

Forecasts of where species might be and what impacts they may have are necessary for management of invasive species.  Researchers at FORT are using various approaches to provided needed information to resource managers to combat invasive plants, animals, and disease organisms.

Date published: June 16, 2016
Status: Active

Statistical Models for the Design and Analysis of Environmental DNA (eDNA) Surveys of Invasive and Imperiled Species

Detecting invasive species at low densities or prior to population establishment is critical for successful control and eradication. For example, Burmese pythons occupy thousands of square kilometers of mostly inaccessible habitats.