Wisconsin First Detector Network

Agronomy’s Mark Renz launches the Wisconsin First Detector Network to track invasive species across the state. The following text is Mark Renz’s press release:

For those interested in invasive species (all taxa) see below for an opportunity to join Wisconsin’s First Detector Network.

Invasive species are considered to be the number two threat to biodiversity and the effects are increasingly evident on Wisconsin’s landscape. While many of these pests are here to stay, others have not yet been found or are at low enough levels that eradication may be possible. Unfortunately many of these populations go undetected until eradication become difficult, if not impossible.

To address this issue we have developed Wisconsin’s First Detector Network (WIFDN). The goal of this network is to educate citizen scientists about invasive species biology, ecology, and identification and develop networks that increase awareness and knowledge of invasive species locations across the landscape. This network will work closely with agency staff, and others at the federal, state and local level.

Participants will receive training through a combination of prerecorded videos, interactive online sessions, and in-field volunteering projects. Trainings will be available to Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists only in 2014, but will be available to the general public in 2015. The cost of registration is $30, which grants access to interactive online training sessions and access to hands on training opportunities.

If interested please view a preview video by visiting the website (http://fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn; scroll down to see video). We are accepting registration for this training on the website. Training (online) will begin on March 21st, and occur approximately every two weeks (see: http://fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn/trainings/ for details). Trainings will be recorded, and available if participants miss a training session.

For questions please contact the WIFDN project coordinator, Tony Summers (asummers2@wisc.edu;608-262-9570) or myself.

In the toolbox: Invasive Plant Control Database

The Midwest Invasive Plant Network has published an online search tool to find information on invasive species control- Invasive Plant Control Database. From this website, go to Resources and then to Tools. The MIPN database works best if you already know the invasive plant species that you have. To help with identification, the Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a very nice image catalog of invasive species in Wisconsin, including the counties where they have been found and species descriptions. Another great resource that categorizes the invasive species by habitat is hosted by Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources.

Still unsure of the plant species, try University of Wisconsin’s weed identification tool or go to the PlantDOC website to find your local Extension agent and submit a digital image for identification. The Extension Specialist for Invasive Plants at UW-Madison is Mark Renz and his contact information is here.