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- Invasive Species
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- How can I help
- Report a sighting
- Contact Us
- CDFW Invasive Species Info
- External Sites
How should I report a sighting of an invasive species?
It is helpful to report the sighting of a plant or animal the you suspect may be a new invasive species in your area.
Filling out a Suspect Invasive Species Report Form (links are at the bottom of this page) will provide necessary information to the agencies mentioned below.
If possible, take photographs of the plant or animal. Including something of commonly known size in the photo is helpful for comparison (for example, a coin, eyeglasses or a camera lens cover). Taking photos of the immediate environment where the sighting occurred and key landmarks for finding the site is also often helpful.
If you wish to collect a specimen to assist with identification, it is important to keep the specimen secure to avoid the spread of the collected species, or any organism that might be attached to it. Please keep a record with the specimen of the location and date that it was collected. The contacts listed below can help with information about the collection and submission of specimens for identification.
Specimen collecting information
- Plants – Plant specimens should include the stem with intact leaves, and if available, intact flowers and/or fruits. See further instructions for plant specimens at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/PPD/botany_sampling.html
- Invertebrates (for example shellfish, worms, or insects) – store in a closed vial or jar with enough rubbing alcohol included to keep the tissue moist.
- Vertebrates (fish, for example) – seal in a plastic bag and freeze.
Who to contact about suspect invasive species sightings
If you sight a plant or insect that you suspect may be a new invasive species in your area, please contact your county agricultural commissioner's office. A contact list can be found at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/county/county_contacts.html .
For questions about sightings of an animal (non-insect) or marine plant that may be an invasive species, please telephone the Invasive Species Program at (866) 440-9530 or send an e-mail to email@example.com .
Form (Fill-and-Print PDF)
For an invasive plant or insect that you suspect may be new to your area, filling out the form and taking it along with photographs and/or a specimen to the County Agricultural Commissioner’s office for identification can be very helpful (see above information about collecting plant specimens).