Assessing Invasive Species
in the Puget Sound Area
A Baseline Assessment of Priority Invasive Species in the Puget Sound Basin, Phase 2
The second phase of the Council's baseline assessment work was completed in January 2014. The Phase 2 project investigated the presence and pathways of spread of 21 additional priority invasive species in the Puget Sound Basin.
More information to come.
A Baseline Assessment of Priority Invasive Species in the Puget Sound Basin, Phase 1
The Invasive Species Council commissioned a baseline assessment of 15 high-threat species in Puget Sound as a pilot effort to identify and begin addressing the gaps. The final baseline assessment report was completed ahead of schedule in March 2011.
|Brazilian elodea||Feral swine||Lymantriid moths (gypsy moths)|
|Caulerpa||Nutria||VHS fish disease|
|Common reed||Tunicates||Wood-boring insects|
The baseline assessment provides many details about species locations and management programs, and the gaps that exist. In addition to the report are:
- Maps of locations of each species
- A searchable database (Microsoft Access) of the information used to conduct the baseline assessment
- The database in printable Adobe Acrobat format
- A geodatabase containing the spatial information (shapefiles) used in the assessment and to create the maps
Notable findings from the assessment include the following:
- 11 of the 15 species have been detected in the Puget Sound basin to varying degrees. Some are well established, such as knapweed, while others are very effectively controlled, such as spartina and lymantriids.
- Species not established yet: Kudzu, feral swine, wood-boring insects, and zebra and quagga mussels. Of these species, ongoing detection efforts exist for all but feral swine.
- There is a lack of funding and associated programs to manage invasive mammals and the marine alga, caulerpa.
- Though funding levels for invasive plants is much higher than for animals, funding levels for county noxious weed boards typically are insufficient to cover those organizations’ basic plant control mandates.
- Current management efforts focus on control, eradication, and general outreach; they do not sufficiently target pathways of introduction and spread.
- There are too few research programs targeted at understanding points of entry, pathways of spread, and impacts in the Puget Sound basin of priority invasive species.
- Most invasive species programs are not evaluated for effectiveness and, as a result, there is a lack of understanding about which programs are or are not working and why.
The assessment suggested that management could be improved by:
- Improvements in data sharing
- Standardizing data collection and reporting
- Increasing citizen engagement in data collection and reporting
- Alignment with related efforts (e.g., the Puget Sound Partnership)
The council will work to implement the suggested improvements and fill gaps identified in the assessment as much as possible. In the future, with additional funding, the council plans to conduct such an analysis for the remaining 35 priority invasive species.