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The PEI Invasive Species Spotters Network

WHAT IS A SPOTTER’S NETWORK?

A Spotter’s Network is a network of organizations, professionals and volunteers that are trained in plant ID and submit observations of invasive species to a central database or location.

Data collected by spotters can be synthesized, mapped and distributed to the public, partner organizations and governing bodies so that decisions pertaining to invasive species can be made using accurate distributional and ecological data.

WHY A SPOTTER’S NETWORK?

A spotter’s network makes economic sense. Invasive species cost Canadians millions of dollars every year. If a species is detected early, it can be handled quickly and infestations may not occur.

Data collected by spotters will be provided to municipalities, governments, industry members, etc. so they can make informed decisions.

The Spotter’s Network will generally raise awareness of invasive species as an environmental issue in PEI.

WHO CAN JOIN THE SPOTTER’S NETWORK?

Anyone can join the spotter’s network! If you are outdoors often, have a keen interest in botany, or just want to help protect our island’s native species and biodiversity – this is a great volunteer opportunity for you!

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF VOLUNTEER SPOTTERS?

Volunteer spotters receive training from the PEIISC as well as spotters’ kits, which contain everything needed to ID a plant, collect a sample and report the sighting! Volunteers are our “eyes on the ground”. They are our first line of defense against invasive species.

When a volunteer reports a sighting, the PEI Invasive Species Council passes along the sighting data to the organization or government department responsible for the affected area. Volunteer spotters are really the first step in a response chain to dealing with invasive species.

HOW CAN I JOIN?

If you want to become a spotter, email us at peiinvasives@gmail.com

- Julie-Lynn Zahavich, PEIISC Member and Spotters Network Coordinator