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.


Wasp Watchers is Live!

Wasp Watchers is a project led by WIFDN and USDA in which we monitor for invasive Buprestid beetles (aka metallic wood-boring beetles) like emerald ash borer and European oak borer. What about the wasps? We monitor the beetles by finding the nests of the native, stingless Cerceris wasp, which collects the Buprestid beetles to provision its nests. They nest in sandy areas, like baseball fields, so it’s easy to find a site to monitor!

Join us! This year, our volunteer training is all virtual and takes only an hour. Then you can select your own site or work with us to pick a site to monitor for Cerceris nests and the Buprestid beetles. Head over to our Wasp Watchers page to learn more and access the virtual volunteer training!

Species Alert: Lesser Celandine

The snow is melting, which means it’s time to look for lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), which is a high priority invasive plant in Wisconsin! Look in wet areas (even lawns!) for glossy green kidney-shaped leaves with yellow flowers. Check out the graphic below to learn how to differentiate it from the native look-alike, marsh marigold (Caltha palustris). If you think you’ve found lesser celandine, please let us know! Note the location, take a few photos, and email us: WIFDNcoordinator@gmail.com.

Check out our new lesser celandine ID video!



lesser celandine


WIFDN 2020 Report

2020 was a year like no other, but WIFDN volunteers stayed as busy as ever! Check out our one-page recap of the year here!

Upcoming Events

All upcoming events are free webinars, unless otherwise noted. Advanced registration required; click on the link for more information.


Learn more about WIFDN

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.

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

For more information
Anne Pearce, WIFDN Coordinator
1575 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706