Washington’s invasive species reporting app just got smarter. Now anyone can use their smart phone or other device to easily report sightings of invasive plants, animals and other pesky organisms anywhere in Washington State and be sure that information will go to the right agency.
This app produced for the Washington Invasive Species Council is easy to use and, more importantly, communicates directly with the agencies who are tracking invasive species of all sorts. You don’t have to figure out who to contact when you notice an unusual plant, insect or other organism. Just enter information on what you see and a photo through the app and the report will be made available immediately to the council and its network of experts through an automated alert.
According to Justin Bush, executive coordinator of Washington Invasive Species Council, “This streamlined process will enable invasive species managers in Washington State to more quickly respond to new invasive species sightings. When it comes to successfully eradicating invasive species, early detection and a rapid response is key.”
Once experts verify a mobile app report, it becomes part of the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS), from the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. EDDMapS is a Web-based mapping system that provides real time tracking of invasive species occurrences, and local and national distribution maps, available for viewing at eddmaps.org. EDDMapS contains more than 3 million invasive species occurrence reports made by 35,000 users across North America. This comprehensive view of invasive species locations helps to guide policy, research and decisions at local and international levels.
According to Chuck Bargeron, associate director for invasive species and information technology at the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, “EDDMapS aggregates data from many sources, professional and citizen scientists alike, through bulk data uploads, Web reports and smartphone reports into a database.”
By using the WA Invasives app, we can all do our part to catch new invasive species while we still have a chance to stop them.
This post was based on a press release from Washington Invasive Species Council. For more information on the app or the work of the council, visit the Washington Invasive Species Council website.