Boaters, swimmers or other members of the public who see Lionfish, Asian carp, Zebra mussels, or other invasive or non-native plant or animal species have two options to report sightings.
Sightings nationwide should now be reported online to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program, called the NAS, or directly to state government natural resource agencies.
The public has been able to report sightings to the USGS and state agencies for some time, but with the discontinuation of a federal reporting Aquatic Nuisance Species hotline late last year researchers are trying to get the word out on the updated reporting system and the continued importance of reporting sightings.
The NAS database monitors, analyzes, and records non-native aquatic animals, including mussels, snails, crayfish, turtles, frogs, and fish, and now, aquatic plants, to give a more comprehensive understanding of the occurrence of non-native and invasive species in the United States.
The database is freely accessible to the public, allowing users to view current distributions, search for particular regions and species, and report sightings of non-native and invasive aquatic species.
Information from the data is used to generate scientific reports, real-time online queries, spatial data sets, regional contact lists, fact sheets and occurrence alerts.
The NAS program monitors nonindigenous species, also known as non-native species or species not historically found in an area, as well as invasive species. A non-native species is not necessarily invasive; however, once a population is able to sustain itself it is considered invasive.
The NAS program works with state and federal natural resource agencies to gather information on non-native and invasive aquatic species, and works with other partners to develop tools, including integrated reporting and filtered website views.
To report the sighting of an invasive or non-native aquatic species, please visit: www.usgs.gov/stopans.
source: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey