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.


A New Year Means New Invasive Species Monitoring Goals

It’s time to restart the GLEDN County Challenge, which you can complete by being the first person to submit an invasive species report in 2019 from your county. With one county (Sawyer) down, you still have 71 opportunities to complete the challenge!

In addition to the GLEDN County Challenge, you have an opportunity to support WIFDN as we help the Wisconsin Citizen-Based Monitoring Network (WCBM) celebrate its 15th year! Head on over to the WCBM at 15 Goals page to learn about monitoring goals for 2019 for WIFDN and other citizen science programs, then take the WCBM at 15 Pledge to show your support for citizen science in Wisconsin!

map of WI counties

Upcoming Events

March 30th, 9 am – 3 pm, EmpowerU! Workshop, UW-Madison Arboretum, Madison

April 2nd, 10 am – 4 pm, EmpowerU! Workshop, Coughlin Center, Oshkosh

April 6th, more details to come, Invasive Plant Management Workshop, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge

June 1st, 9 am – 12 pm or 1 pm – 4 pm, Tackling Invasive Plants, Sustainability Skill Share, Cooksville

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