National Invasive Species Information Center (2023)

Provides selected Florida resources from agencies and organizations with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species.


  • FDACS Announces Exotic Fruit Flies Found, Quarantine Established in St. Petersburg Area Of Pinellas County

    • Jun 24, 2022

    • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

    • The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in Pinellas County. A quarantine has been established in the St. Petersburg area prohibiting the movement of fruit, vegetables, and nuts without a compliance agreement from the department. State and federal agencies will work with local governments and community organizations to keep the public informed. More information can be found at the department’s website at, or by calling the Division of Plant Industry Helpline at 1-888-397-1517.

  • Got Invasives? Get Help!

    • Apr 2022

    • University of Florida.Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.

    • Have an invasive species problem on your property? Use to find private land owner assistance programs and connect with your local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA). is convenient, builds community awareness, leverages limited resources through cooperation, and may reduce individual land management costs. This resource is regularly updated to provide you up-to-date information. Visit and click on the "Landowner Assistance" link to find available assistance with your invasive species problem.

  • Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge

    • Jun 16, 2022

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge has opened and the annual 10-day event will be held August 5-14, 2022. Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.

      (Video) Invasive Species 101 | National Geographic

      Visit to register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge.

  • Pest Alert: Lissachatina fulica (Bowditch), Giant African Land Snail [PDF | 672 KB]

  • Florida Eradicates Giant African Land Snail

    • Oct 8, 2021

    • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

    • This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.

      The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.

  • Exotic Pet Amnesty Program

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • In an effort to keep unwanted exotic pets out of Florida's native habitats, people can surrender exotic pets free of charge with no questions asked. Every attempt will be made to place all healthy animals with experienced exotic pet adopters.

  • Identify and Report Invasive Animals and Plants in Florida - IveGot1

    • University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

    • IveGot1 is more than just an app, it is an integrated invasive species reporting and outreach campaign for Florida that includes the app, a website with direct access to invasive species reporting and a hotline 1-888-IVEGOT1 for instant reports of live animals. By reporting sightings of invasive animals and plants, Florida agencies can better assess the extent of the infestations and hopefully eradicate new infestations before they become huge problems. The goal of IveGot1 is to make identification and reporting easy and efficient as possible.

  • Python Patrol

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • Python Patrol is a no-cost training program that aims to create a network of trained individuals throughout south Florida who know how to identify Burmese pythons, report sightings, and in some cases, capture and humanely kill the snakes. Python Patrol training is offered throughout south and southwest Florida.

    (Video) Invasive Species

State Specific Threats

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this location, organized by source.

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Council or Task Force
  • Florida Invasive Species Council

    • Florida Invasive Species Council.

    • Special Note: In an effort to retire outdated invasive species terminology, the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) formally changed its name to the Florida Invasive Species Council (FISC).

  • Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area

    • Miami-Dade County (Florida); DOD. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; DOI. National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; South Florida Water Management District.

  • Florida Invasive Plant Species Mobile Field Guide

    • Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council; Orange County Government; University of South Florida.

    • FLIP (Florida Invasive Plants) is designed to be a mobile field guide that can be accessed by a computer, smart phone, tablet, or other device with internet browser capability. Developed in partnership with the University of South Florida (USF), FLIP currently contains 20 plants: 19 of the 2011 Category I invasive species and one of the 2011 Category II invasive species, as designated by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC).

  • Florida Invasive Species Partnership

    • Florida Invasive Species Partnership.

Federal Government
State and Local Government
(Video) What is The National Invasive Species Council?


How do I report invasive species in NY? ›

Report it to New York iMapInvasives (leaves DEC website), the official invasive species database for NY. iMapInvasives provides a platform for reporting and tracking invasive species and is managed by the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP).

How do I report invasive species in California? ›

Please note that we can only respond to reports of species in California. For questions about sightings of a known or potentially invasive animal (non-insect) or marine plant in California, please contact the Invasive Species Program at (866) 440-9530 or send an email to

How do I report invasive species in Florida? ›

You can call the FWC's Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681) to report nonnative animals. We ask the public to call the Hotline to report high priority species, which include all nonnative snakes, monitor lizards, and tegus.

Which state has the most invasive species? ›

Florida consistently ranks as one of the top five places in the world with the most invasive species. And the state is the world epicenter of invasive reptiles.

Is bamboo illegal in NY? ›

A. New York State bans two varieties of invasive bamboo — golden bamboo and yellow groove bamboo. Commonly known as running bamboo, these varieties grow uncontrollably, spreading onto neighboring properties and reaching enormous heights. A prohibited species cannot be sold, transported or planted in the state.

What is the difference between native and invasive species? ›

Native: a species that originated and developed in its surrounding habitat and has adapted to living in that particular environment. (It can become aggressive, similar to an invasive species.) Invasive: a species of plant or animal that outcompetes other species, causing damage to an ecosystem.

How many invasive species are in California? ›

In some cases we included all species from a particular list, but in many cases professional judgment was necessary to distinguish those species. To date there are over 1,700 species on our long list.

What is the difference between a non native species and an invasive species? ›

Species introduced or spread from one region of the US to another outside their normal range are non-indigenous, as are species introduced from other continents. Invasive species: a species whose presence in the environment causes economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

How much does Florida pay for invasive species? ›

All of Florida's native habitats—marine, freshwater and terrestrial—are threatened by invasive species. The cost of managing Florida's invasive plants alone is estimated at $100 million each year; the cost of animal management could easily exceed this.

Who handles invasive species in Florida? ›

The Invasive Plant Management Section is the lead agency in Florida responsible for coordinating and funding two statewide programs controlling invasive aquatic and upland plants on public conservation lands and waterways throughout the state.

What is the most invasive plant in Florida? ›

Brazilian pepper is now considered one of the most invasive species in the state. It grows next to water and crowds out mangroves and other native plants, but doesn't provide the same high quality habitat.

What is the #1 most invasive species? ›

Here's our list:
  • 7) The Cotton Whitefly. ...
  • 6) The Snakehead Fish. ...
  • 5) The Asian Longhorned Beetle. ...
  • 4) The Burmese Python. ...
  • 3) The Cane Toad. ...
  • 2) The European/Common Rabbit. ...
  • 1) The Nile Perch. ...
  • Further Reading. Plant and Animal species on this list were selected from The Global Invasive Species Database.
22 Aug 2011

Are humans invasive species? ›

Humans have effectively become an invasive species, taking over the homes and resources of animals across the globe. People continue to expand into new lands and territories to compensate for an ever-growing population, converting natural land into cities with homes, offices, shopping centers, and more.

Why does the U.S. have so many invasive species? ›

Control. Many invasive species are spread inadvertently by human activities, such as seeds stuck to clothing or mud transporting firewood, or through ballast water. The government has instituted several different policies related to different pathways the invasive species may be spread.

Are Burning Bushes illegal in NY? ›

Because the burning bush is a plant regulated by the state, it can still be sold in New York but it must be labeled as an invasive species that is “harmful to the environment.”

Why is growing bamboo illegal? ›

State and local governments are beginning to outlaw bamboo as a nuisance or are regulating how and where it can be planted. Bamboo has often been used as landscape “problem solver.” Certain species of bamboo grow quickly, forming a dense screen that can reach 40 feet or more.

Will bamboo choke out other trees? ›

When bamboo grows into new areas, it chokes out all other vegetation, making a desolate, plant-free, and often animal-free area.

What human activities cause invasive species? ›

Invasive species are almost always spread by human activity. The increase of activities such as tourism and trade have meant people and goods can move all over the planet, and they often take invasive species with them, accidentally or intentionally.

Where do I report spotted Lanternfly in NY? ›

If you believe you've found spotted lanternfly in New York:

Take pictures of the insect, egg masses and/or infestation signs as described above (include something for scale such as a coin or ruler) and email to

What fish are invasive in NY? ›

  • Chinese mitten crab.
  • Northern snakehead fish.
  • Sea lamprey.
  • Spiny waterflea.
  • Round Goby.

How can we control invasive species? ›

Herbicides are among the most effective and resource-efficient tools to treat invasive species. Most of the commonly known invasive plants can be treated using only two herbicides—glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup™ and Rodeo™) and triclopyr (the active ingredient in Brush-BGone™ and Garlon™).

How many invasive species are there in the world? ›

Drawing on new data including the IUCN Global Invasive Species Database and the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species, the authors analysed more than 45,000 first records of almost 17,000 established alien species.

What invasive species can you hunt in California? ›

In California, there is a statewide year-round season on certain invasive species.
3 Invasive Species to California and Its Rules for Hunting Them
  • Pigs. ...
  • Sheep and Goats. ...
  • Songbirds.
16 May 2015

Is the American bullfrog invasive? ›

Bullfrogs, which were commonly harvested for game meat, are a highly invasive species in the western U.S., Asia, Europe, and South America. They are able to thrive because they are voracious predators and their natural predators are absent. Bullfrogs cause decline of native species through competition and predation.

What animals are not native to California? ›

  • Black rat.
  • Coypu (also known as nutria)
  • Fallow deer.
  • Axis deer (eradicated)
  • Feral cat.
  • Feral dog.
  • Feral pig.

What is the most common way that invasive species are spread? ›

An invasive species can be introduced to a new area via the ballast water of oceangoing ships, intentional and accidental releases of aquaculture species, aquarium specimens or bait, and other means.

What 3 things define an invasive species? ›

To be invasive, a species must adapt to the new area easily. It must reproduce quickly. It must harm property, the economy, or the native plants and animals of the region. Many invasive species are introduced into a new region accidentally.

Why don't they shoot the pythons in Florida? ›

Humane Methods for Killing Pythons

Burmese pythons are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law. There is an ethical and legal obligation to ensure a Burmese python is killed in a humane manner.

Can you eat a python snake? ›

When pythons are safe to eat, they can actually be quite delicious, says Donna Kalil, one of the program's python hunters. Kalil is the first female hunter in the python removal program, according to Kirkland, and she has so far captured and euthanized 473 pythons.

How much money do you get for killing pythons in Florida? ›

A female python can lay as many as 100 eggs a year. Cash prizes of up to $2,500 are available in both the professional and novice categories for those who remove the most pythons, officials said.

Does Florida have Anacondas? ›

Regulatory Status. Green anacondas are not native to Florida and are considered an invasive species due to their impacts to native wildlife.

How much is a python skin worth in Florida? ›

Pythons are an invasive species in Florida, and hunters are allowed to kill them humanely to cull the population. The python-skin masks sell for $90, and quickly became one of the owner's top-selling items. View more episodes of Business Insider Today on Facebook.

What plants are not allowed in Florida? ›

Here are the main plants you can't bring into Florida:
  • Non-native aquatic plants or seeds.
  • Citrus plants.
  • Dogwood plants.
  • Sugarcane.
  • Noxious weeds.
  • Any plant hosting boll weevils.
  • Any plant hosting fruit flies.
14 May 2021

What trees are not native to Florida? ›

6 Invasive Non-Native Trees in Florida
  • Skunk Vine. Skunk vine is a thornless, woody vine that originated in Asia. ...
  • Brazilian Peppertree. ...
  • Australian Pine. ...
  • Melaleuca Tree. ...
  • Camphor Tree. ...
  • Old World Climbing Fern.
28 Jun 2022

What reptiles are illegal in Florida? ›

On April 29, 2021, the following high-risk nonnative reptiles will be Prohibited species in Florida:
  • Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus)
  • Reticulated python (Python reticulatus)
  • Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
  • Northern African python (Python sebae)
  • Southern African python (Python natalensis)

What country has the worst invasive species? ›

Researchers also found that the United States and China act as the top sources of invasive species due to the high level of trade connected to both countries as well as the high number of invasive species already found there.

What part of the world is most affected by invasive species? ›

We found the most vulnerable countries to be from Sub-Saharan Africa, while those countries representing the greatest threat to the rest of the world (given the invasive species they already contain, and their trade patterns) to be the United States and China.

What is the most destructive invasive species in the United States? ›

Feral swine are widely considered to be the most destructive invasive species in the United States. They can do remarkable damage to the ecosystem, wrecking crops and hunting animals like birds and amphibians to near extinction.

Are dogs invasive species? ›

Domestic dogs are rated to be amongst the top five invasive animal species on Earth (Doherty et al., 2017).

Has any invasive species been eradicated? ›

One of those success stories is the eradication of the European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) in northern California after it was found there in 2009.

Are humans the smartest animal? ›

Strictly speaking, humans are the smartest animals on Earth—at least according to human standards.

Who regulates invasive species in the US? ›

Wildlife Services conducts invasive species activities in partnership with other federal and state agencies and others, to protect a wide variety of resources. In addition to the four species highlighted, WS provides assistance to the general public upon request to resolve damage caused by invasive species.

What are 2 invasive species in the US? ›

Some examples of the diversity of invasive species include the emerald ash borer, feral swine, zebra and quagga mussels, kudzu vine, cheatgrass, hemlock woolly adelgid, white-nose syndrome fungal pathogen, lionfish, bufflegrass, Asian carp, garlic mustard, leafy spurge, Sirex woodwasp, Burmese python, Japanese knotweed ...

Does China have any invasive species? ›

Of the 100 most threatening invasive species in the world, 51 have been found in China, according to the fourth National Seminar on Biological Invasion, which was held this week in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. These non-indigenous species have swallowed swathes of forests.

Is Burning Bush invasive in NY? ›

Burning bush is an ornamental invasive that escapes into the wild. It is part of the regulated species from Part 575 of the NYS DEC regulated and prohibited species. It is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall.

What fish are invasive in NY? ›

  • Chinese mitten crab.
  • Northern snakehead fish.
  • Sea lamprey.
  • Spiny waterflea.
  • Round Goby.

Why do some species become nuisances? ›

Natural “checks and balances” such as predators, parasites, diseases, and competitors do not exist outside of the native ranges of these species creating an environment where they can dominate and become “nuisances.” Native species are not used to living with these new species and are not adapted to eat them or compete ...

Are swans invasive? ›

Mute swans (Cygnus olor, Figure 1) are an invasive species originally brought to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for ornamental ponds and lakes, zoos and aviculture collections.

Why can't you buy a burning bush anymore? ›

Unfortunately, burning bush (including its cultivars) is now classified as an invasive species, and anyone wanting to buy a plant will be frustrated.

Why is barberry banned? ›

The popular, non-native, ornamental shrub forms dense, prickly thickets that crowd out plants and disrupt native ecosystems. It is also thought to harbor black-legged ticks that spread lyme disease. The ban on sale and cultivation took effect October 8, 2021.

Why can't you buy a burning bush? ›

Massachusetts and New Hampshire now have laws that prohibit the sale of burning bush along with several other commonly used landscape plants. Until a sterile (non-seed-producing) form of burning bush is developed, these familiar plants will become increasingly unavailable on the market.

Are snakeheads illegal in NY? ›

Note: it is illegal to use snakehead as bait in NY. Dump water from boat compartments, bait buckets, and live wells on dry land.

What do snake heads eat? ›

Feeding. Snakeheads prefer to eat fish, but will also feed on frogs, crustaceans and small birds, mammals or reptiles. Once a snakehead is fully mature, other fish will make up over 90% of their diet, such as largemouth bass and white perch.

Can snakehead fish walk on land? ›

Snakehead fish have evolved to “walk” on land! They propel themselves forward by moving their head and back fin in opposite directions. Underwater, a snakehead absorbs oxygen through its gills, just like other fish.

Can I shoot a raccoon in my yard Florida? ›

A Gun and Light at Night Permit and a hunting license are required to use a firearm and a light at night to take nuisance beaver, bobcat, fox, opossum, rabbit, raccoon or skunk that are causing destruction of crops and/or livestock.

Is it illegal to trap armadillos in Florida? ›

Legal options:

It is lawful for a landowner to live-trap or humanely destroy nuisance armadillos, although they are difficult to capture with live traps.

Are armadillos a nuisance? ›

Although armadillos are beneficial because they eat insects and other invertebrates, they sometimes become a nuisance by digging in lawns, golf courses, vegetable gardens and flower beds. Some damage has been caused by their burrowing under foundations, driveways and other structures.

Why do swans hiss at you? ›

Mute swans can be very aggressive in defence of their nests and are highly protective of their mate and offspring. Most defensive acts from a mute swan begin with a loud hiss and, if this is not sufficient to drive off the predator or intruder, are followed by a physical attack.

What to do if a swan approaches you? ›

Don't fear attacking a swan to defend yourself, either. Sure, try not to encroach up on it when nesting, but if it does go for you at a speed that is faster than your own at withdrawing from the scene, give it a whack.

Why are they killing mute swans? ›

Mute Swans are a sentinel/indicator species alerting scientists to problems in the environment such as the presence of heavy metals and harmful microorganisms. Mute Swans are killed under another guise to monitor for Avian Flu (HN51).


1. The Crisis: Invasive Species
2. WANTED BUTTERNUT CANKER (Ophiognomonia clavigignenti-juglandacearum)
(Nohelia Garcia)
3. Lake Blitz June Meet-up: Invasive Species Monitoring
(Living Lakes Canada)
4. National Invasive Species Week forum
(Takoma Park City TV)
5. Center for Invasive Species Research
(Center for Invasive Species Research)
6. "I appreciate how you provided context for this issue -- that it's a national security issue."
(U.S. Representative Will Hurd)
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