Welcome to the Wisconsin First Detector Network!

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists.


GLEDN Monthly Challenge: August 2017

July’s challenge was a warm-up for this month’s GLEDN Challenge. Back to the story map we go! In July, we challenged you to report 3 species from the county priority species lists in the story map. Now, we challenge you to report 3 high priority species from the species lists. High priority species are those highlighted in yellow at the top of each county’s list. These are species that have a large area of suitable habitat in the county but for which we don’t have many reports of those species growing in the county. In other words, we expect those species are present in the county, but we don’t have many on-the-ground reports to verify that they are present. And while we’d love to do a tour of the whole state to look for these species, we just can’t make that happen! Please help us out!

If you need a reminder, here are the 3 easy steps for completing the August GLEDN Challenge

  • Click here to open the story map
  • Click on your county (or the county you’re visiting) and look at the list of high priority Those are the species highlighted in yellow.
  • Report at least 3 high priority species during the month of August and submit your reports by Monday, September 4th.



Use the story map to learn about high priority species in your county.


Announcing the GLEDN Monthly Challenge!

Announcing a new challenge sponsored by WIFDN! From May – October, WIFDN will post a monthly challenge for GLEDN users to promote use of the app and to focus on priority species during different times of the season. Anyone who submits reports in Wisconsin with the GLEDN app or EDDMapS is eligible to participate. Check out this guide to learn more!


Upcoming Events

September 19th (10 am – 12:30 pm), Landowner Workshop: Managing Invasive Species on Your Land, Brillion Nature Center, Brillion. FREE, but RSVP to Jeni Klein (920-793-4007, calumetinvasivespecies@co.calumet.wi.us)

September 21st (10 am – 12:30 pm), Landowner Workshop: Managing Invasive Species on Your Land, Ledge View Nature Center, Chilton. FREE, but RSVP to Jeni Klein (920-793-4007, calumetinvasivespecies@co.calumet.wi.us)

Learn more about WIFDN


A native Wisconsin prairie, one of the state’s most treasured natural resources and three invasive species – late blight, emerald ash borer, and brown marmorated stink bug.
Photos courtesy of Ice Age National Scenic Trail, UW Extension, WI DATCP, and Oregon Invasives Hotline

Invasive species are considered to be the number two threat to biodiversity, second only to habitat loss. The effects of invasive species are increasingly evident on Wisconsin’s landscape. Despite efforts by federal and state agencies, non-native insects, plants and diseases continue to establish and spread throughout our state, impacting our economy and environment. While some of these pests are here to stay, many others have not yet been found in Wisconsin, and still more are found at low enough levels that eradication may be possible. Efforts to prevent new introductions and to identify new infestations before they become well established are the best way to ensure the survival of many of Wisconsin’s iconic plants, animals, and ecosystems.

A volunteer removes a flower head from an invasive thistle. Image courtesy of the Catalina Island Conservancy

By joining Wisconsin First Detector Network, you will have access to online training resources brought to you by invasive species experts from across the state. Training topics include terrestrial and aquatic invasive species biology, identification, and reporting. We emphasize species of concern to Wisconsin (e.g. emerald ash borer, late blight, giant hogweed), but we also discuss general resources for other species. We invite participants who are already doing invasive species volunteer work in Wisconsin, as well as people who are looking for new volunteer opportunities.


Garlic mustard infests a forest understory Photo courtesy of Rick Gardner and Arc of Appalachia

Consider becoming a First Detector and help improve our network to minimize the impact and spread of invasive species in Wisconsin.

For more information
Anne Pearce
WIFDN Coordinator