Early Detection and Rapid Response

Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) is a management approach that capitalizes on our ability to most effectively eradicate invasive plant populations when they are small. By detecting a new invasive plant before it has a chance to spread or build a large seed bank, managers can respond early enough in the invasion process to fully eradicate the species from a given area. Through EDRR, well-informed surveillance can avoid costly long-term control efforts.

Cal-IPC supports EDRR in California by working with regional partners to identify invasive plant species that are a high priority for surveillance in their area. We use the online CalWeedMapper decision-support tool to help determine which species are most likely to show up in a region. Training guides help regional partners identify and report these species. We encourage submittal of field observations that are new or out of known range go to the online Calflora database to track invasive plant spread and help partners respond quickly when a new or priority species is found.

Species ID Cards for EDRR

To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed Species ID cards for EDRR that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size. (Lamination increases their longevity.) The first two cards listed are a glossary of terms and contacts for reporting finds; these cards are designed to go with any set of weed ID cards to form an EDRR guide. You can also access cards from each species’ listing in our online Inventory.

Surveillance lists typically include 10-15 plants that are new to an area or that are not yet present but deemed to pose an imminent threat of spreading into the area. An EDRR guide composed of the ID cards for these species can be distributed to professional land managers, maintenance workers, citizen scientists, outdoor recreation enthusiasts and any other individuals who spend time on the land in your area.  If you hold EDRR trainings for volunteers, it’s best if you spend time describing species identification and biology, distribute copies of the EDRR guide and then leave them with a how to guide on reporting their finds to Calflora, as well as clarify your intent for what the “two-minute removal” techniques means.

Thank you to the National Park Service, California State Parks, and the Dept. of Defense Legacy Program for supporting the production of these species ID cards. We will work to produce cards for additional species as funding becomes available.

If you are interested in setting up your own localized EDRR program using these resources, please contact us at mapping@cal-ipc.org. We will help advise you on how to create a surveillance list as well as edit the Contacts card so that it applies to your area.

California EDRR Resources

Cal-IPC Regional Strategies – Cal-IPC is working with multi-county regions (including BAEDN, the Bay Area Early Detection Network) to develop priorities for eradication and EDRR surveillance efforts and to secure funding for programs addressing these priorities.

Calflora – Found a new plant, a plant out of range, or a new population of a known invasive plant? Record your observation on the web-based Calflora database!

CalWeedMapper – CalWeedMapper contains statewide distribution information by USGS quadrangle for the Cal-IPC inventory species. Regional collaborations are working through a standardized process to identify top-priority eradication and surveillance targets.

Pending Assessment List and Invasive Plant Alerts – While Cal-IPC’s Invasive Plant Inventory lists plants that have been assessed as having ecological impacts in California, our Pending Assessment list compiles other naturalized non-native plants that may be starting to spread and are causing land manager concern about potentially having ecological impacts in the future. Such plants are potential candidates for EDRR. The annual Invasive Plant Alerts presentation at our Symposium includes information on some of these plants.

CISAC List – The California Invasive Species Advisory Committee assembled a list of invasive species for the state, including not only those here already but also others that are likely to be introduced here in the future.

Other EDRR Resources

Inventory and Survey Methods for Nonindigenous Plant Species – Report from Montana State University, includes sections on surveying for early detection.

Weed Surveillance – How Often to Search?– Paper from the New Zealand Dept. of Conservation documenting their recommendations for active surveillance intervals for various habitat types based on modeling benefits and costs.

National Invasive Species Council – NISC prepared an EDRR “general guidelines” document in 2003. It provides a strong foundation of EDRR elements, including less-discussed topics such as: passive vs. active detection; “syndromic” surveillance (looking for the damage rather than the pest); and voucher specimens for authoritative verification.

National Park Service, San Francisco Area NetworkGolden Gate, Point Reyes and Pinnacles, as well as a few smaller NPS units in the San Francisco Area Network use a protocol designed at the sub-watershed scale. This program initially relied on volunteers (“weed watchers”), but now relies on several summer interns.

National Park Service, Eastern Mountains and Rivers NetworkThis region of the NPS partnered with Penn State University to prepare EDRR field guides for NPS and USFS personnel, contractors and citizen scientists.

National Park Service, Florida/Caribbean Exotic Plant Management Team – Performs regular surveys of “corridors of invasiveness,” and fly Digital Aerial Sketch Mapping (DASM) missions to map populations of species that can be observed from the air.

IPC Prevent – Invasive Plant Control is a company marketing “EDRR 3.0, a landscape approach to EDRR&rdquo.

EDD Maps West An Early Detection Distribution and Mapping System for 13 western states.

Great Lakes Early Detection Network – GLEDN operates a web-based alert system that emails users when new sightings are reported for species of interest. GLEDN brings together a number of member databases, which are fed into GISIN, the Global Invasive Species Information System, run by USGS out of Colorado State University, but in practice this is not effectively happening yet.

British Columbia IMISWG – The Inter-Ministerial Invasive Species Working Group (IMISWG) oversees the EDRR framework for invasive plants for BC.

Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council – The PNW IPC’s EDRR Citizen Science Program recruits volunteers through active outdoors groups and provides training.

Oregon Invasive Species Hotline – The Oregon Invasive Species Council uses an 800 number and a university-based web hotline for reporting sightings.

TexasInvasives.org – Their website is a portal for public awareness and citizen science, in service of EDRR, prevention, and funding support.

Missouri River Watershed Coalition – A partnership, extending across a seven-state region in the north central part of the U.S. with EDRR as one of their main goals.

A National Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants in the United States (FICMINEW) – A conceptual design for a national EDRR approach written in 2003.