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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Invasive Species Mapping
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dgregg on 08 Mar 2012 12:18 pm

Invasive Species Mapping

In Rhode Island we don’t have the resources to comprehensively map every invasive species, or even a subset of them. Nonetheless, recent projects have produced valuable maps and there are many people outdoors observing their environs and willing to chip in their information to new mapping efforts if it would help. Also, there are new technologies that make gathering and organizing diverse observations easier.

If you are willing to participate in informal efforts to make volunteer contributions add up to overall better invasives awareness, and you’re willing to join us in experiments with new technology, check out the links below and help where ever you can. There’s absolutely nothing to lose and a better environment to gain. Thanks!

Forest Health Works Project data
Information on invasive plants in forests statewide, gathered by FHWP from 2009 to 2011. Available by request of RINHS. Coming soon to RIGIS.

RI Department of Environmental Management aquatic invasives maps Plants Animals
Static maps of the distribution of aquatic invasives species largely compiled by DEM staff and interns, with additional information from URI Watershed Watch and RINHS, from 2007-2011.

The Rhode Island Aquatic Nuisance Species Working Group and the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program, have created a guide to aquatic invasives of significance to Rhode Island salt waters. Explore their site: RI Marine & Estuarine Invasive Species

Google Map Project
RINHS originally created these maps of invasives using the Google Map interface just for its own staff to keep and share notes. But with additional observers, they could become increasingly interesting and useful. If you have information to add, please just go ahead. We ask that you please put the date(s) of your observations and your name and contact info into the note section so we can follow up with you.
The following maps are available:
Centaurea spp. (knapweed)
Vincetoxicum spp. (swallowwort)
Phellodendron amurense (corktree)
Euonymus fortunei (winter creeper/climbing euonymus)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stiltgrass)
Trapa natans (waterchestnut)
Nelumbo lutea (American water lotus)
Egeria densa (egeria)
Carex kobomugi (Asiatic sand sedge)
Ligustrum spp. (privet)
Nymphoides peltata (yellow floating heart)
Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrotfeather)
Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla)
Persicaria perfoliata
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Pueraria montana (kudzu)

For links to identification resources for each of these species, download this Links to Identification Assistance.

RINHS smartphone app
RINHS is experimenting with a smartphone app that captures photos, GPS location, and basic observation info and automatically forwards it to us. The app, called EpiCollect was developed by Imperial College London for gathering field data on infectious diseases but it has been open-sourced and is available to anyone who wants to tinker with it. It isn’t very fancy but it seems to work well and we’d love people to try it so we can keep ironing out bugs.

Go to the Android Market or iPhone app store on your phone and search for “EpiCollect”.
Install the free EpiCollect app.
Launch the app and press the menu button and then the “load project” button.
Search for RINHS (it is case sensitive so use all caps) and let it load.
The EpiCollect app home screen will now give you the RINHS project as an option.
Whenever you want to record and observation, open the app, select the RINHS project and hit “New Entry”
The app will walk you through the easy steps to collect a photo, GPS info, and other data. You don’t need data service to collect an observation as the app will wait until you do get a data connection before synchronizing with the project website.

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