Invasive Species

Invasive plants and animals cause significant economic losses and diminish opportunities for beneficial uses of valued resources such as forests, croplands, rangelands, and aquatic resources. Costly effects include clogging of water facilities from quagga and zebra mussels and clogging of waterways from aquatic plants such as the weed hydrilla and giant fern salvinia, disease transmission, harm to fisheries, and increased fire vulnerability and diminished grazing value. Invasive species are contributing factors in 40 percent of all threatened and endangered species listings.

It is estimated that fighting the economic, ecological and health threats posed by over 6,500 invaders costs over $120 billion in damages annually to the United States economy.

Research by Topic

Early Detection
& Rapid Response

Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species.

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Threat Forecasting
& Decision Support

Targeting monitoring efforts, predicting potential ranges and effects, and simulating application of management alternatives.

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& Management

Improving existing invasive species control methods and developing and testing new methods of control.

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& Restoration

Developing strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats.

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Research by Place and Species


Asian carp, sea lamprey, phragmites

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Burmese pythons, black and white tegus

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Brown treesnakes, rats, wasps, ants, mammals, plants

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Cheatgrass, tamarisk, buffelgrass

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National Contact

Cynthia Kolar



Top Photo: Giant fern salvinia papillae. Photo courtesy of Myriah Richerson, USGS.