What is the importance of tracking invasive species in iMapInvasives?

One of the first steps to understanding the impact or potential impact of invasive species is to know where it occurs. Many different groups of people are recording the locations of invasive species, but generally they are focused on a small local area or on lands that they directly manage. 

In order to get a large scale picture of where species are occurring, these sightings need to be shared. iMapInvasives was created to be a place for managers and interested citizens to share their information on the location and management of invasive species.

Water Chestnut (Trapa natans)

Not only are iMapInvasives users able to share this information with each other through the site, iMapInvasives also partners with other databases such as the U.S. Geological Survey's Non-Indigenous Aquatic Species database. The more data is shared, the more likely it is to be used for a variety of planning and management activities.

Some ways that iMapInvasives data has been used includes:

  • Alerting managers to new locations of high priority species.

  • Clarifying known distributions of infestations.

  • Identifying gaps in survey or treatment effort.

  • Informing predicted distribution models.

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