U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Invasive Species


Learn More About Invasive Species

What is an Invasive Species?

Pathways that contribute to the spread of invasive species. What you see in the video above represents a 24-hour observation of aircraft travel on the earth's surface. Every dot of moving light represents an aircraft carrying people and goods. And, every dot represents potential for the intentional or unintentional movement of plant or animal species that may be travelling with those people and their goods, species that could become invasive once they establish in a new environment.
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An invasive species is one that is not native to an ecosystem and which causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. It is important to note that when we talk about a species being invasive, we are talking about environmental boundaries, not political ones. In addition to the many invasive species from outside the U.S., there are many species from within the U.S. that are invasive in other parts of the country.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only agency of the U.S. Government whose primary responsibility is the conservation of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Because of our responsibilities, the Service is very concerned about the impacts that invasive species are having across the Nation. Invasive plants and animals have many impacts on fish and wildlife resources. Invasive species degrade, change or displace native habitats and compete with our native wildlife and are thus harmful to our fish, wildlife and plant resources.

For more information...

  • News and Resources - Information and links to FWS Frequently Asked Questions, Invasive Species related contacts, Injurious wildlife information, and links to information on specific species.
  • What You Can Do - Information and links on what you can do to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.
  • Invasive Species Activities - Learn more about what the Service is doing under various common categories of invasive species activities.
  • FWS Invasive Programs - Find invasive species information for a specific Service program.
  • Partnerships and Grants - See how the Service works with other stakeholders to address invasive species.
  • Laws and Regulations - Links to the various pieces of legislation under which the Service operates.