- Author: Chris M. Webb
Invasive weeds can be very problematic, affecting agricultural productivity, public health, natural resource biodiversity; increasing the risk and severity of wildfire; and reducing water quality and quantity.
A nationwide program designed to map invasive weed locations online was started at the University of Georgia in 2005. What’s Invasive! Community Data Collection provides a way for people to map invasive weeds they see while visiting national parks.
The U.S. Forest Service is instantly alerted to the location of habitat-destroying species. This information is useful for increasing knowledge about the location and establishment of invasive species and directs limited U.S. Forest Service personnel and funds in a straightforward and efficient manner to minimize further spread of these species.
Before visiting a park, participants can view photos and information about what to look for in different parts of the country. Sightings can be added through phone apps or through the website.
As of today there are 973 registered users, with 3,019 invasive species observations in 19 participating parks. New parks can be easily added by users.