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Where can I find invasive plant species data? I'm looking for GIS point data with the locations of the invasive plant species specifically. Not limited to one particular area or invasive plant species, just looking for a hub or good website to search for invasive plant species data.

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The R package originr interfaces with the Global Invasive Species Database and many other databases that include lists of invasive species. It provides results for a given species that include information (at the country / state level) that indicates where species are native and where they are exotic / invasive.

The R package spocc provides an interface to many databases that returns geolocated records where each species has been observed.

note: Both of these packages are maintained by @sckott and rOpenSci, who deserve kudos for such work at every opportunity!

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EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) has reports of invasive species in the United States. This website is developed and maintained by the University of Georgia. It's very reliable data, but the website is on the slow side.

Features of this dataset:

  • Distribution is usually limited to the United States, and occasionally southern parts of Canada.
  • Reports are reviewed and verified by experts.
  • Includes negative reports, IE places where an expert looked for and didn't find a specific invasive species.
  • The website is only set up for single-species downloads, not bulk downloads. I suspect the site owners would provide a bulk download if you contact them with a reasonable request.

You can view species data without registering, but free registration is required to download data. Click on the Distribution Maps tab, then click on the name of an invasive species. Once registered and logged in, you can download invasive species reports for individual species in CSV, KML or Shapefile format.


iNaturalist has reports of all kinds of organisms, not just invasive species. If you're only familiar with the app, check out the website. It has lots of features not available in the app, including data downloads.

Features of this dataset:

  • Worldwide distribution, although observations are skewed towards areas where the iNaturalist app is popular.
  • Identification is crowd-sourced. There are a lot of experts using this site, but some mis-identifications to slip through the cracks. Even "research-grade" identifications are sometimes incorrect. Plan to review the identification of any outliers.
  • Single-species and bulk downloads are possible. The query-builder is extremely easy to use. You can filter the data before downloading it, based on many different criteria (date, location, taxon, etc).
  • Data includes both invasive and non-invasive species, and invasive status is not defined. You'll have to create a custom list, or rely on iNat's designation of "introduced" versus "native." For each locality you can usually find a government-defined list. The government-defined list is usually more limited than local experts would recommend (not that local experts would completely agree with each other about what species to put on that list).

Free registration is required to download data. Individual observations can be downloaded from the observation's page. For bulk download, build a custom query on the export observations page.

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data.gov has nearly 1000 datasets listed: Search data.gov for "invasive species", some of the datasets have gis data, some are just PDFs. You'll have to do the picking. There's more reference material about invasive species on USDA APHIS, FWS, and USDA's Invasive Species Info site

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