National Spotters Network
What is a National Spotters Network?
The National Spotters Network is a dedicated group of volunteers located across Canada who are trained to identify and report invasive species. This online hub presents the invasive species (IS) spotter’s networks run by Canadian Invasive Species councils. It provides information on five of them and a number of resources related to other provinces and territories initiatives. With quick access to Canadian data, observers and managers can be efficiently informed of invasive species dispersion in Canada. This online hub facilitates learning on species distribution and extent of infestation, species ecology, threatening species, management strategies (Early Detection Rapid Response - EDRR), education programs, citizens, actions and events. This hub is also a first step in setting a common platform for spotter’s networks in Canada.
Why Have a National Spotters Network?
Prevention is always the best option when dealing with invasive species. However, when that fails and an invasive species enters Canada, the next best option is to detect and respond to the invasion in a timely manner in the hopes of eradicating it before it spreads any further.
By increasing the capacity for early detection of new invasive species occurrences, a National Spotters Network will improve the distributional and ecological data in each of the participating provinces/territories, as well as contribute to national early detection and rapid response (EDRR) efforts.
The National Spotters Network is comprised of representatives from the provincial/territorial invasive species councils. Members of the National Spotters Network share a common interest in reducing the economic, social and environmental impacts of invasive alien species. The intent of the National Spotters Network is to increase the number of eyes (trained volunteers) on the ground and on the alert for new and existing invasive alien species infestations so that they can be reported to the appropriate agencies, and subsequently acted upon.
Goals of a National Spotters Network
Under the guidance of the Spotters Advisory Committee, the goals of the National Spotters Network are to:
- Nationally, raise public awareness about invasive alien species.
- Encourage and support the development and promotion of spotters networks in all Canadian provinces/territories.
- Promote unity and coordinate information sharing amongst provincial/territorial spotters networks, and ultimately,
- Contribute to an increased national capacity for early detection and rapid response (EDRR).
Spotters Networks improve the distributional and ecological data in each of the following participating provinces/territories, as well as contribute nationally to early detection and rapid response (EDRR) efforts. Members of a Canadian Spotter’s Network share a common interest in reducing the economic, social and environmental impacts of invasive species. A common platform for Canadian Spotter’s Network is under development.
Find useful resources and initiatives undertaken by provinces and territories that can support the further development of Spotters Networks across Canada.
A Spotters Network often starts locally around an invasive species issue that raises concerns, and can also be put in place in a prevention and early detection perspective. Here are key steps for developing a Spotters Network program.