Mission: Invasive Species
Where are the invasive species in Maine? Where aren't they?
The Vital Signs community is looking for invasive species in coastal, freshwater, and upland ecosystems across Maine. Join us! Report where you find them and where you don't find them.
The magnitude of student and citizen involvement promises to build a heightened level of public awareness and a meaningful body of scientific knowledge that is essential for biologists and resource managers committed to addressing invasive species issues.
David Littell, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
1. Print an invasive species ID card
2. Print an Upland Species Survey datasheet
3. Go out and look for the invasive species
4. Go to your My Vital Signs page (link in upper right) to add your "found" or "not found" observation
5. Check out the Analysis Mission to figure out how your observation fits and what it means
Why this Mission matters
Invasive species affect Maine's native species and natural ecosystem processes, impact our economy, and influence our relationship with and reliance on our environment. Knowing where invasive species are will help scientists and resource managers target their own research efforts most efficiently. Finding invasive species before they establish populations will keep Maine relatively free of invasive species compared with states to our south and west.
Knowing where a species has been looked for but NOT found is just as important as knowing where it has been found. It offers critical insight into species ranges, seasonal or annual fluctuations, species movement, and habitat preferences. It establishes an important baseline of information from which we can see how a place changes with time.
Maine is a big place. Looking for invasive species along Maine's 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, 6,000 lakes and ponds, 5,000 miles of coastline, and millions of acres of forests, fields, and developed areas is a sizable challenge. But this statewide Vital Signs community is making it happen!