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.


Report Volunteer Activities

As the growing season winds down, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year. Did you spend time mapping or removing invasive species this year? How about teaching other people about invasives? If so, please fill out this quick survey to tell us what you did! Even if you primarily volunteered for another group (for example, your local park, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, or a Friends group), please complete the survey here.

Complete the GLEDN County Challenge

The GLEDN County Challenge continues! Complete the County Challenge by being the first person to submit a report from a Wisconsin county, and we’ll send you a WIFDN sticker! The map below shows counties from which we’ve received first reports in January – October 2018.

map of WI counties

Article on preventing seed production when hand pulling garlic mustard

Have you ever wondered how to dispose of hand-pulled garlic mustard to prevent pulled plants from producing seeds? Read this short article for tips on what to do with the garlic mustard you have pulled!

WIFDN Video Series

The WIFDN video series is live! Check out the 2018 Video Series page to view videos.


Upcoming Events


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

1575 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706