Definition: An invasive species is any species of animal or plant that is:
- introduced to a country or region where it is not native (it is “alien” or “exotic”);
- is reproducing and spreading without the aid of cultivation (it has become “naturalized”);
- harming one or more native resources such as species, habitats and natural communities, or ecosystems (it is “invasive”).
Introductions can occur accidentally or intentionally. Accidental introductions involve whole individuals, seeds, root fragments, or other propagules being transported via commerce, movement of vehicles or materials, or wildlife movement. Not every non-native species is invasive. Also, plants deliberately introduced with good intentions such as landscaping, agriculture, wildlife food, or erosion control have later turned out to be invasive. Invasive species may also impair non-biotic conservation values that are intrinsic to a particular parcel of land, such as aesthetics, cultural landscapes, or recreational use. As global trade and transportation have increased so have introductions and invasions. Invasives are a direct threat to environmental stability in RI and hence to its economy and the health of its people.
Strategies for state agencies and land trusts and other general resources
Pages by species for identification, current status, and recommended management techniques
Need help with an unknown organism or or want to report a find in Rhode Island? Contact us.
Research projects involving invasives of concern in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Invasive Species Council (RIISC) is an informal group that meets periodically to improve communication and coordination among the many people and organizations interested in invasives in Rhode Island.