Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) is the second most important action one can take after prevention. Early detection and rapid response is built upon two principles: 1) Detect and identify an invasive species as early as possible and 2) Immediately contain and eliminate the invasive species and its threat of invasion.
The EDRR approach is beneficial both environmentally and economically because eradicating an invasive species before it can become well established saves money, time, resources and landscapes. Early detection of new infestations, however, requires vigilance and regular monitoring of an area and its surrounding ecosystem. A successful EDRR program consists of monitoring, inventory development, treatment and post-treatment monitoring. It is imperative that monitoring is conducted regularly and methodically to achieve the greatest level of success.
One of the primary tools in managing noxious weeds is identifying the location and extent of infestation. Mapping these sites allows weed managers and landowners to identify areas that need control actions taken, locate areas threatened by potential spread, determine how and by what methods the weeds are spreading and help determine the financial and environmental costs to be incurred.
The first step in mapping weed infestations is to conduct surveys of areas within the weed's potential range. This mapping can be done in the form of intense, scientifically-based surveying performed by professionals or by a landowner taking a walk through his or her property and taking note of what plants are present. When a weed is observed its name and location should be noted, as well as any other relevant information. If possible, it is best to collect a GPS point as well. This information should be reported to the local Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA), University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office or federal land agency office to be included in a map of infestations in the area.
Reporting and tracking invasive species is critical to protecting environments threatened with infestation and for raising awareness in communities. In order to appropriately detect invasive species prior to establishment, information must be readily available to individuals surveying and monitoring an area.
Nevada is is a partner state using the Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) app for use in reporting and learning more about invasive plants found throughout the state. This invaluable tool is available to both invasive species professionals and the general public and can be accessed here.