Invasive species pose a significant and growing threat to native biodiversity. They compete with native species for resources and often have no native predators to keep their numbers in check. Any large scale effort to protect biodiversity and the environment must be able to deal with the effects of invasive species. Early detection is often the key to successful eradication.
iMapInvasives is a cloud-based application for tracking and managing invasive species. Developed by NatureServe and partners in the iMapInvasives Network, it gives resource managers the power to know about the latest observations of an invasive species, in real time, so they can respond to new threats to the ecosystems they manage. With the newest release, iMapInvasives will share information with other invasive species mapping platforms, empowering decision-making at county, state, national, and international levels. Its tools assist citizen scientists and natural resource managers working to protect natural resources from the threat of invasive species.
Invasive species—non-native organisms that negatively impact ecosystems, human health, and the economy—are an ever-present challenge to those responsible for protecting our lands and waters. To succeed in tracking and managing infestations, conservation professionals need sophisticated tools and access to high-quality data about where invasive species occur across the landscape. iMapInvasives provides an online database and mapping system designed to enable rapid sharing and efficient management of invasive species data.
Natural resource managers use iMapInvasives to track monitoring and treatment efforts and to stay informed of new invaders. Detailed data forms provide flexibility for individual project needs while maintaining a standardized data structure. The GIS framework of iMapInvasives allows users to perform map-based queries, generate custom reports and maps, and receive early detection email alerts based on both species and specific geographies like counties or watersheds.
While the partners that developed iMapInvasives designed it to meet the needs of natural resource managers, the system is a powerful tool for citizen scientists to assist in efforts to control invasives. Because they are often among the first to notice a new organism that appears out of place, interested and attentive amateurs play a critical role important in early detection of invasive infestations, which is the most effective line of defense. Using their smart phones to share photos and GPS coordinates of what they see with iMapInvasives, individuals can sound the alarm for practitioners who concentrate on controlling invasives.
iMapInvasives operates across states and provinces at local and regional scales to provide a shared resource for many institutions working on invasive species. As a collective hub for invasive species data, the system provides a way to communicate effectively across both organizations and political boundaries.
iMapInvasives maps the following types of data:
- Searched Area: Where did you look?
- Presence: What did you find?
- Not Detected: What didn't you find?
- Treatment: What did you treat?
With iMapinvasives, users can tap into the power of cloud-based and mobile mapping technologies. Collaborative work has never been easier. A host of new functionality makes the new release of iMapInvasives the most efficient and effective management tool for conservation-based invasive species tracking.
Some of the newest features in iMapInvasives include:
- Americas View: map coverage in North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean region
- Infestation Management: visualize change over time for documented infestations
- Improved User Experience: increase your efficiency and productivity
- Web Map Services: serve real-time data to and from other invasive species mapping platforms
- Enhanced Mobile Interface: for use on your smartphone or tablet
iMapInvasives is a collaborative project of NatureServe and partners in the iMapInvasives Network.
Learn more at iMapInvasives.