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Early Detection

The early detection of new and emerging invasive species is essential to prevent their establishment and spread within the region. Successful early detection programs allow for potential threats to be identified in time for effective, efficient and environmentally sound decisions to be made (assessment) and actions to be taken (rapid response). The earlier an infestation is found, the more successful management efforts will be.

WNY PRISM established Early Detection Priority Species in 2015 and reevaluates them regularly. Most recently, priority species were updated in 2021. WNY PRISM’s Early Detection Priority species are considered to pose the greatest threat to our region based on potential negative impacts, proximity to region, pathways of invasion, availability of effective management options and other factors. In order to be considered an early detection species, the species must occur in 3 or fewer locations within our 8-county region of WNY.

As a continuation of our early detection efforts, WNY PRISM released an Early Detection Reporting Protocol for professionals and citizen scientists alike. This reporting protocol will serve as a means to ensure that infestations of new-to-our-region invasive species are caught early and should not change how the common and/or widespread species are reported (report an invasive).

WNY Early Detection Reporting Protocol

  1. Infestation Discovered
    1. Observer should employ due diligence in an attempt to positively identify the species.
      1. Check www.wnyprism.org for more information and resources for identification.
  2. Document Infestation
    1. Please obtain the following:
      1. Size – record the number of individuals, acreage, linear feet, percent cover.
      2. Location – GPS points, property address and/or location, property owner, location of species within property.
      3. Photos – clear photos showing identifying characteristics, entire organism, infestation and location.
      4. Contact information for observer.
  3. Log Infestation into iMapInvasives – www.nyimapinvasives.org
    1. iMapInvasives triggers alerts to experts, who are able to confirm identification.
    2. If you are unable to access iMapInvasives, proceed to step 4
  4. Confirmation of Identification.
    1. Submit all documentation to WNY PRISM for confirmation
      1. Email information to wnyprism@buffalostate.edu
      2. Subject Line: “Early Detection Report”
    2. Depending on the species, WNY PRISM may confirm the identification or forward the observation and documentation to its partners for expert identification.
    3. If on-site confirmation is necessary, WNY PRISM will work with partners and volunteers to identify someone with the ability to visit the site and confirm the observation.

Surveys and Site Assessments

Invasive species surveys and site assessments are integral steps in invasive species management planning. WNY PRISM has developed resources to help invasive species professionals and citizen scientists collect and report information on invasive species to drive management efforts.

WNY PRISM’s Early Detection Assessment Protocol and Form have been developed to help improve regional response efforts and may be used to describe infestations of Early Detection Priority Species in the WNY PRISM region. 

More information on the protocol and to download the form and instructions, head to wnyprism.org/survey-and-assessment/ 

For more information on WNY PRISM’s priority species, head to wnyprism.org/priority-invasives/