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Great Lakes Center, SAMC 319
SUNY Buffalo State
1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222

(716) 878.4708


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The early detection of new and emerging invasive species is essential for preventing 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 developed an Early Detection Reporting Protocol for professionals and community members alike. This reporting protocol will serve as a means to ensure that infestations of new-to-our-region invasive species are caught early.

Common and/or widespread species, Tiers 3-5, should continue to be reported using procedures identified here: report an invasive.

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.